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IBM debuts Cloud Carbon Calculator to help enterprises manage their GHG emissions

Tech giant IBM has announced the general availability of a tool designed to help enterprises track and curb the greenhouse gas emissions generated by their on-premise and cloud-based activities

IBM is using artificial intelligence (AI) technology to help enterprises monitor and manage the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions generated by their use of the tech giant’s various cloud-based products and services.

The IBM Cloud Carbon Calculator is generally available now and consists of an AI-based dashboard that will enable enterprise IT leaders to spot patterns and track changes in their GHG emissions, and implement changes to how their IT estates operate accordingly.

The technology underpinning the dashboard has been co-developed by IBM Research and chip giant Intel, who have engineered it so that enterprises can use the dashboard to visualise and track the GHG emissions tied to their individual cloud services and the location they are hosted.

“Clients can use filters to see emissions profiles across locations and a variety of services – starting with commonly used classic and cloud-native infrastructure services, with more service coverage planned quarterly,” said IBM, in a statement.

“Clients can [also] analyse emissions by month, quarter and year, enabling enterprises to gain a regular view of progress towards targets…and clients can use the insights they gained to adjust their strategies in near real-time to optimise workloads across locations and ultimately help reduce emissions.”

Furthermore the tool can also be used to help enterprises meet their environment, social and governance (ESG) reporting needs by providing them with outputs and audit trails for their GHG emissions, the company added.

Alan Peacock, general manager at IBM Cloud, said being able to monitor the environmental footprint of their on-premise and cloud environments is increasingly becoming a business-critical requirement for enterprises as the pressure to curb their GHG emissions grows.

“We see organisations face increasing pressure from investors, regulators, and clients to reduce their carbon emissions. For IBM, reducing environmental impact to help create a more sustainable future is a top priority and we are committed to helping clients achieve both sustainability and business goals,” he said.

“With the AI-enabled IBM Cloud Carbon Calculator, we’re helping clients better understand the greenhouse gas emissions associated with their IT workloads and giving them the insights to adjust their strategies and further their sustainability objectives.”

According to IBM, the Cloud Carbon Calculator tool is already being used by enterprises to address their sustainability goals, including by Argentinian ecommerce platform e.tres.

“The way people shop is changing, and we’re committed to helping our customers deliver frictionless online shopping experiences backed by high levels of sustainability,” said Diego Gorischnik, CEO of e.tres.

“With the IBM Cloud Carbon Calculator, enabled by AI, we can boost the sustainability of our clients’ operations, their technology and logistics shipments, so any ecommerce portal can become sustainable by measuring and offsetting greenhouse gas emissions.”

According to a factsheet published by IBM about the service, enterprises will be able to use the tool to track their Scope 3 emissions, which are notoriously difficult for organisations to get a handle on.

So much so, public cloud giant Amazon Web Services (AWS) came in for criticism earlier this year for dragging its feet with making it Scope 3 data available to users of its services, as regulatory scrutiny of their operations continues to grow.

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