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A new report by Gartner predicts that, by 2025, the carbon emissions of hyperscale cloud services will be a top three criterion in cloud purchase decisions.

Cloud computing is evolving from a technology enabler to a business disruptor, and leading providers are increasingly focused on how they can disrupt higher-level business, compliance, societal and environmental issues through their strategies and offerings. 

An increasingly important part of said strategies is sustainable business, which is becoming a key tenant of responsible business practices. More than 90% of organizations increased their investments in sustainability programs between 2017 and 2020, according to previous Gartner surveys.

Graphic by Gartner. Title: Change in sustainability investment, compared to 2017. In 2020, there was a 92% average increase in sustainability investment compared to 2017.

Cloud sustainability, specifically, refers to the creation, delivery, and consumption of cloud services that are a net positive economically, environmentally, and socially over the long term. Hyperscalers are aggressively investing in sustainable cloud operations and delivery (e.g., carbon offset, renewable energy, carbon reductions, and more), aspiring to achieve net-zero emissions eventually within the decade, or sooner.


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While essentially all cloud providers have sustainability initiatives in place, their progress in meeting carbon reduction goals and strategies for achieving net zero carbon emissions varies wildly.

Cloud service provider metrics (at the cloud data center level) and workload placement tools are still immature and sometimes not fully transparent, making it difficult for organizations to fully and accurately assess the true sustainability impacts of cloud provider selection and workload placement. As a result, customers will increasingly push their cloud providers for more transparency in reporting and tools to help them better achieve their sustainable business goals.

Read the full report by Gartner.

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