How retailers can move closer to net zero retail

22 December 2021

In April 2021, the UK government set the world’s most ambitious climate change target into law to reduce emissions by 78% by 2035 compared to 1990 levels. It therefore comes as no surprise that environmental sustainability is now becoming an increasingly prominent feature in business strategies across the country.

Today, many business leaders realise that reducing carbon emissions is not just a box-ticking exercise. A corporate strategy focused on sustainability can add brand value, meet consumer demands, increase efficiency, attract valuable talent and create new opportunities.

The Retail sector is no exception to this as net zero retail remains a key focus. More and more retailers are moving to accelerate the transition to respond to the changing expectations of both their customers and their employees.

Retailers are considering how they can transition to net zero retail and accelerate their efforts to decarbonise operations. So with sustainability targets so high on the agenda, what can retailers do to ensure they meet these, often ambitious, targets?

One of the biggest changes organisations can make is migrating their on-premises infrastructure to the cloud. Datacentres, including colocation facilities, account for at least 12% of UK’s entire electricity consumption and with data volumes predicted to grow exponentially, organisations need to look to for more sustainable ways to store data.

Cloud enables companies to lower energy use and carbon emissions in the following ways:

  • Dynamic provisioning – reducing wasted computing resources through better matching of server capacity with actual demand.
  • Multi-tenancy – flattening relative peak loads by serving large numbers of organisations and users on shared infrastructure
  • Server utilisation – operating servers at higher utilisation rates.

As more organisations turn to cloud, evidence of energy reduction and carbon emissions is now being well documented. A recent Accenture report, “The Green Behind the Cloud” found that:

  • Companies with average on-premises to cloud migrations can drive 65% energy reduction and a carbon emission reduction of 84%.
  • Organisations can stretch carbon emission reductions to 98% by configuring applications for the cloud.
  • Application energy consumption can be reduced by up to 50x when selecting the appropriate programming language for the task.

The report also found that migrations to public cloud can reduce CO2 emissions by 59 million tons per year which equates to taking 22 million cars off the road.

How to get started

Some organisations are daunted by the thought of moving to cloud. Cloud migrations can be complex and time-consuming, but if done properly you can begin to see the ROI very quickly.

We recommend starting with an assessment to understand your current IT landscape and requirements. ANS’ complimentary Cloud Migration Navigator is designed to do just this. In as little as 4-6 weeks, we can help you overcome the complexities of migrating datacentre workloads to public cloud infrastructure, helping you to simplify your journey to public cloud. By understanding your current application landscape, we can help you define not only your future state architecture in cloud, but also your optimal transition roadmap.

At the end of the assessment, you’ll receive a board-ready business case including TCO, ROI and a full benefits breakdown for your organisation.

To find out more about our Cloud Migration Navigator click here.