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Cloud Storage Helps Businesses Reduce Carbon Footprints

Cloud computing concept

For all the ways technology saves businesses from using physical resources, unseen factors may negatively impact the environment. Servers need proper heating and cooling. Electricity has to power all these devices. And when technology tools can’t be used any more, they’re not always recycled.

There is one buzzing tech development that can help your business reduce its carbon footprint. Cloud storage is a virtual location where employees may upload any important work documents and access them from anywhere, from any device. Here’s why adopting cloud storage for your business can help the environment.

Technological waste

More than 80 percent of unwanted electronic devices (such as cell phones, PCs and tablets) are discarded in landfills. This not only creates mountains of waste, but releases lead and other toxins into the atmosphere. In addition, the average office worker uses an average of 10,000 sheets of paper annually, according to Reduce Waste, and the average computer server can consume up to 2,000 kilowatts of electricity annually. That’s not even considering the energy needed to cool the computer room.

Cloud computing and virtualization helps curb the endless trail of computer hardware and paper while allowing companies to operate more efficiently. Virtual data storage is being used by as many as 70 percent of small businesses, Small Business News reports. Many cloud companies even offer free online storage for data. By storing files in the cloud versus making hard copies of everything, your business will not only save on paper waste, but on printer power usage. And with cloud storage creating centralized locations for any users to access data, employees may use personal devices for work, eliminating the need to purchase extra equipment for the office.

Cloud storage streamlines resources

When businesses use cloud storage, they eliminate the need for in-house IT resources, cutting down on office and server space since the data is on a shared server provided by the cloud storage company, which has optimized its energy usage. Multiple employees can work on the same files at the same time, making it easy for teams to communicate and share information. This makes business processes more efficient and cuts down on energy waste. Cloud storage also protects data from disasters, such as a fire, a tornado or storm damage, saving companies money and resources they would use to recover the data.

If you’re still worried about the environmental impact the cloud storage provider’s servers have, look for a cloud storage provider that takes proactive steps to help the environment, such as planting trees in exchange for data stored or using renewable energy sources to power its data centers. Greenpeace also provides an environmental report card for data centers. Storing data off-site helps the environment because it allows your business to conserve energy in-house, preserve America’s forests by cutting down on paper waste and keep toxic electronics out of the country’s landfills by eliminating the purchase of unnecessary devices.

What’s your opinion: do you think adopting cloud storage is an effective way for a business to be greener? Tell us in the comments.

Author’s Bio

Bobby J. Flemming : Bobby is an environmental and business freelancer living the dream in the Pacific Northwest.

Posted on July 31st, 2013 by Rachel Braam, Office Manager

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