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Cloudflare Sets Out to Create New Blueprint for a Zero-Emissions Internet

Cloudflare, Inc. (NYSE: NET), the security, performance, and reliability company helping to build a better Internet, today announced it will help power an Internet with zero carbon emissions. Now, not only will one of the world’s largest and most interconnected networks operate on 100 percent renewable energy, but Cloudflare will also remove all historical carbon its global network has emitted since its founding by 2025. The Internet is responsible for approximately 1 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year—roughly comparable to the annual CO2 emissions of the entire aviation industry worldwide. 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.

Today Cloudflare is also releasing sustainable edge computing services and energy efficient features to help organisations of any size build sustainability directly into their own applications, websites, and networks. Now businesses can choose to intelligently route traffic through data centres 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, organisations 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.

“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 centres, servers, and other physical infrastructure the Internet relies on,” said Matthew Prince, co-founder and CEO of Cloudflare. “We want to give the Internet a clean slate to help build toward a future where it’s easy for anyone to create, build, and run their applications on green energy while remaining secure, fast, and reliable.”

As Internet usage continues to rise, so does 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. Organisations 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.

Cloudflare is providing environmentally efficient solutions, giving organisations a seamless way to:

  • Power compute with renewable energy: Using Cloudflare’s distributed global network to drive a better climate outcome, businesses and developers can elect to route a portion of their compute workloads through facilities on Cloudflare’s edge powered by 100 percent renewable energy with Green Compute on Cloudflare Workers.
  • Quantify their individual footprint and carbon savings from Cloudflare’s network: The millions of customers powered by Cloudflare can effortlessly track and view their approximate carbon savings from their usage of Cloudflare services in comparison to Internet averages for the same volumes. With the Carbon Impact Report, all customers can view customised data on their individual footprints on Cloudflare’s network to quantify, report on, and set sustainability goals, as well as view recommendations on actions they can take to reduce their carbon impact.
  • Receive green certification on their websites by default: All websites are automatically powered by 100 percent renewable energy with Cloudflare Pages, now in partnership with The Green Web Foundation. Organisations and developers default to deploy certified green web pages and can elect to display a verified badge.
  • Reduce unnecessary energy from search engines indexing the web: Search engines will be notified by Cloudflare when content on a page has changed, to eliminate unnecessary crawls and energy. This option will be available in the future for all Cloudflare customers, to help deliver fresher indexes while wasting fewer resources from search engines.

Efficiency has been at the core of Cloudflare’s network from its founding. In contrast to legacy models that transport certain activity to specific data centres halfway across the world, each Cloudflare data centre delivers full functions of security, performance, and reliability to intelligently serve users based on location. The coupling of comprehensive services and Cloudflare’s network edge—spanning more than 200 cities operating within milliseconds of the Internet-connected population—simultaneously reduces energy to transport while providing optimal speed and security. Cloudflare continues to iterate on the optimal efficiency of its network, and has achieved more than 50 percent improvement in requests per watt by deploying Arm® Neoverse™-based processors in its edge servers. Today, the company is furthering its efficiencies with renewable energy-powered edge computing and services for its customers to build and scale sustainability.

“The industry is facing a massive opportunity to accommodate the increasing demand on cloud computing in a sustainable way,” said Chris Bergey, senior vice president and general manager, Infrastructure Line of Business, Arm. “Energy efficiency is part of Arm’s DNA, and we are pleased to see Cloudflare leverage the performance-per-watt benefits of Neoverse as they continue to build on and prioritise the overall efficiencies of its vast global network.”

“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.”

To learn more about Cloudflare’s environmental sustainability efforts, please check out the resources below:

Secondary editor and executive officer at Tech Business News. Contracting as an IT support engineer for 20 years Matthew has a passion for sharing his knowledge of the technology industry. He's also an advocate for global cyber security matters.

Matthew Giannelis
Matthew Giannelis
Secondary editor and executive officer at Tech Business News. Contracting as an IT support engineer for 20 years Matthew has a passion for sharing his knowledge of the technology industry. He's also an advocate for global cyber security matters.

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