IDC has released a new study, the first of its kind, that predicts that cloud computing could help prevent more than a billion tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions over the next three years.

The forecast uses IDC data for server distribution and the use of clouds and local software as well as information from third-party providers Data center Power consumption, carbon dioxide emissions per kilowatt hour and emissions comparisons of cloud and non-cloud data centers.

IDC’s forecast includes upper and lower limits for the estimated reduction in emissions. If the percentage of green cloud data centers stayed where they are today, just migrating to the cloud itself could save 693 million tons over four years.

If all data centers used in 2024 were designed for sustainability, 1.76 billion tons could be saved. IDC’s forecast of more than 1 billion tons is based on the assumption that 60% of data centers will adopt the technology …

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