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IBM Cloud Carbon Calculator Aims to Help Organizations Address Greenhouse Gas Emissions to Advance their Sustainability Objectives
By Satinder Sethi | GM, IBM Cloud Infrastructure Services
May 09, 2023

We are increasingly seeing businesses embrace data-intensive workloads such as high performance computing, artificial intelligence and machine learning to drive innovation on their hybrid,...

We are increasingly seeing businesses embrace data-intensive workloads such as high performance computing, artificial intelligence and machine learning to drive innovation on their hybrid, multicloud journeys with resiliency, performance, security and compliance capabilities at the forefront. At the same time, they are striving to balance this innovation with growing ESG regulations. As we see emissions reporting becoming more commonplace worldwide, IBM is committed to helping our clients make more informed decisions that can help address their energy demands and associated carbon impact and reduce costs.

To help clients on the road to building a more sustainable compute infrastructure, today we announced the IBM Cloud Carbon Calculator – an AI-informed dashboard designed to give clients access to standards-based cloud emissions data for IBM Cloud workloads with just a few clicks – now in limited beta. Based on technology from IBM Research, the IBM Cloud Carbon Calculator aims to enable organizations to track their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across various workloads down to the cloud service level to help further advance their sustainability objectives[1].

Track emissions across various workloads and down to the cloud service level

As we see businesses continue to embrace hybrid cloud to achieve operational efficiency and energy-saving benefits, we believe cloud and data center energy efficiency will continue to grow in importance. Today, many businesses are tracking energy consumption and associated greenhouse gas emissions across various IT infrastructures to address sustainability goals. However, 41% of executives surveyed in a recent Institute for Business Value study point to inadequate data as the biggest obstacle to their ESG progress. [2]

With the IBM Cloud Carbon Calculator, we are aiming to make it easier for clients to access the data they need to advance their sustainably goals. By helping deliver access to detailed carbon emissions data for their workloads on IBM Cloud, the tool is designed for clients to visualize and track GHG emissions associated with individual cloud services and locations in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol.

Identify emissions hot-spots and opportunities for improvement

Many organizations have GHG emissions targets – including targets associated with their cloud usage. The IBM Cloud Carbon Calculator includes features designed to help clients analyze GHG emissions by month, quarter and year. Through a regular view of progress towards targets, we aim to help clients reduce emissions by delivering the insights they need to adjust their strategy based on emissions trends and patterns.

Users can view emissions over time by location, cloud service, and organizational workstreams. The tool is designed to help quickly spot patterns, anomalies and outliers in data enabling clients to uncover hot spots that are driving significant emissions – whether from a particular service or workstream – and allowing them to use these insights to inform their mitigation strategy.

The emissions data break-out by the tool can also help organizations satisfy reporting needs. The IBM Cloud Carbon Calculator is designed to provide users with the means to integrate their emission data into the IBM Envizi ESG suite[3] which can position them to conduct further analysis and enable reporting.

Coming together to build a more sustainable future

For IBM, reducing environmental impact to help create a more sustainable future is a top priority  and we believe it is also something shared by many organizations. We are committed to helping clients align sustainability goals to business objectives.

Building on IBM’s longstanding efforts to create a more sustainable future, the IBM Cloud Carbon Calculator is a new milestone in our commitment to helping clients turn sustainability ambition into action and create a more energy efficient future. It complements IBM’s existing portfolio of sustainability solutions and consulting expertise, including the IBM Envizi ESG Suite, IBM Turbonomic, IBM Planning Analytics  and IBM LinuxONE, that help organizations set, operationalize, and achieve their ESG goals.

We remain focused on advancing sustainability across a variety of areas, including increased adoption of renewable energy sources to power our IBM Cloud data centers globally. For example, IBM Cloud’s operations in the UK and throughout the European Union – including our new Multizone Region (MZR) in Madrid, Spain -- already use a network of data centers backed by 100% renewable electricity. IBM Cloud’s adoption of renewable energy directly contributes toward the company’s corporate goal of sourcing 75% of the electricity IBM consumes worldwide from renewables by 2025.

As companies embrace hybrid cloud, IBM understands that practices to support sustainability not only have quantifiable benefits directly for organizations, but they also favorably position a company to their clients and investors and attract talent. To help organizations on these goals, IBM Cloud will continue to work closely with IBM Research and our partner communities to execute programs and activities aimed at helping clients reduce carbon emissions and increase overall energy efficiency.

Statements regarding IBM’s future direction and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice and represent goals and objectives only.


[1] *The IBM Cloud Carbon Calculator (the “Calculator”) is currently only available on a limited basis in Beta form for the following IBM Cloud Services: Cloud Object Storage, IBM Kubernetes Service, and Virtual Server for VPC and Classic. Output provided by the Calculator is provided “as-is” for informational purposes only, and is based on information regarding the Cloud Services provisioned by Client in Client’s IBM Cloud Account. Output is provided in a format according to GHG protocol standards. Client is responsible for confirming accuracy of any Calculator output for purposes of Client’s compliance with any applicable regulatory obligations or for any other purpose.

[2] IBM Institute for Business Value, "The ESG Conundrum," April 2023

[3] Envizi license required

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