22 September 2011, 12:26 BST
New research from the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) has revealed the extent to which cloud computing can slash CO2 emissions.
Cloud Computing: The IT Solution for the 21st Century suggested US companies could save 85.7 million metric tons of CO2 annually by moving to the cloud. This is the equivalent of 200 million barrels of oil.
According to the research, cloud computing can help organisations last both their energy consumption and CO2 emissions, while saving money and increasing operational efficiency.
However, many of the companies which participated in the research said boosting their environmental performance was not their primary motivation for moving to the cloud.
Paul Stemmler from Citigroup said: "Carbon reduction is one driver, but not the primary driver. The primary driver is time to market."
By 2020 cloud computing is expected to account for 69 percent of IT spend, up from around ten percent today.
The CDP currently acts on behalf of 551 institutional investors and over 3,000 organisations disclose their greenhouse gas emissions, water management and climate change initiatives through the project.
Source: Low Carbon Economy