Cloudflare’s goal to power the internet with zero-emissions
Can a zero-emissions internet really be achievable, especially given that it’s responsible for approximately 1 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year?
To put it into perspective, this is roughly comparable to the annual CO2 emissions of the entire worldwide aviation industry.
As Internet usage continues to rise, so will the energy that’s required to deliver online services. The electricity used to power the Internet’s infrastructure helps move content that sits in faraway servers passes it through networks and allows for it to land on a user’s device.
While turning to cloud platforms to deliver a service or document is more environmentally efficient than paper printouts, for example, each Internet-powered property has a climate impact that can be mitigated.
Organizations need the insights, tools, and control to lower their supply chain carbon emissions without sacrificing the security, speed, or reliability of their applications and corporate networks.
A zero-emissions internet
Last week, Cloudflare, which comprises the world’s largest and most interconnected networks, announced plans to operate on 100% renewable energy.
Not just that, the company aims to also remove all historical carbon its global network has emitted since its founding by the year 2025.
“Internet usage has skyrocketed in the last couple of years, growing over 80 percent on our network, and is showing no signs of slowing down. For every search you do, online order you make, and video call you join, there is an environmental impact from the physical data centers, servers, and other physical infrastructure the Internet relies on,” said Matthew Prince, co-founder and CEO of Cloudflare.
The company also launched multiple tools to help organizations build sustainability into their applications, websites, and networks.
Now, any Internet property on Cloudflare’s network — which today already consists of 17 percent of the web — will automatically reduce emissions and seamlessly contribute to a greener, more sustainable world.
Sustainable edge computing
In its statement, it also said that it would be releasing sustainable edge computing services and energy-efficient features to help organizations build sustainability directly into their own applications, websites, and networks.
Businesses can choose to route traffic through data centers powered by renewable energy using Green Compute on Cloudflare Workers. Customers can also understand and quantify their individual footprints and approximate savings from Cloudflare’s network in comparison to Internet averages with the Carbon Impact Report.
Furthermore, organizations that deploy websites on Cloudflare Pages will automatically operate on renewable energy and receive a green certification from The Green Web Foundation displayed through a verified badge.
How it works
Unlike legacy models that transport certain activities to specific data centers halfway across the world, each Cloudflare data center delivers full functions of security, performance, and reliability to serve users based on location.
Cloudflare’s comprehensive services and network edge that covers over 200 cities simultaneously reduce energy to transport while providing optimal speed and security. It has achieved over 50% improvement in requests per watt by deploying Arm® Neoverse™ processors in its edge servers.
“Cloudflare’s recent climate disclosures and commitments are encouraging, especially given how much traffic flows through their network. Every provider should be at least this transparent when it comes to accounting for the environmental impact of their services”, said Chris Adams, Co-director of The Green Web Foundation.
“We see a growing number of users relying on CDNs to host their sites, and they are often confused when their sites no longer show as green, because they’re not using a green CDN. It’s good to see another more sustainable option available to users, and one that is independently verified”, added Adams.