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Cloud Waste Initiative

Let's ERASE $100 Million Worth of Cloud Waste in 2021

I pledge to...

EDUCATE myself and others about the effects of cloud waste.

REDUCE today’s over-provisioning for my cloud services.

APPLY what I’ve learned to build a cloud waste program.

SUPPORT my organization moving forward.

ENCOURAGE others to sign this pledge.


Cloud Waste is a real problem that affects our planet...

Companies wasted over $17 billion in cloud spend on idle resources last year

Data Centers represent 3% of the world’s total energy consumption

Most organizations find as much as 40% of their cloud spend is wasted on over-provisioned and unused infrastructure

Data Centers emit nearly 100 million metric tons of CO2 annually

Help us hit our goal of...



Cloud waste is not only
an economic issue. It's an

environmental issue too.

Organizations that have pledged to reduce cloud waste...

Cloud Waste FAQ

Cloud waste refers to purchases of cloud resources that go unused or under-utilized. The resulting, wasteful spending increases operating costs without adding value and precludes using those same funds in other areas of the business.

As for the wasteful spending and resources that the term ‘cloud waste’ refers to, clouds themselves do not produce this waste. Rather, the digital waste is created when people buy more cloud resources than they actually need, and then either don’t use them or under-use them.

Clouds do, however, create another type of waste. That’s the byproducts of all the energy consumed (including electrical, ventilation, heating, cooling, etc.) in the process of running the data centers required to provision cloud services. In particular, it’s the large amounts of CO2 that data centers release into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change.

From the financial perspective, any operational expense that is unnecessary, or that is in excess of what’s needed is a luxury that companies cannot afford in today’s highly competitive market. Those funds should either be redirected in ways that create more business value, or be saved to improve bottom-line results.

From the environmental perspective, wasteful uses of energy contribute unnecessarily to the pollution that we all need to reduce in order to reverse the devastating course of climate change.

The real answer to this question is complex, involving why people essentially pad their projects with extra resources in order to ensure success rather than taking the risk of ‘right sizing’. Reducing cloud waste involves making many changes, but perhaps the biggest is creating a new mindset around cloud resource setting. Going for cloud efficiency instead of doubling or tripling what’s necessary needs to be the new mantra.

Although it remains a little-known fact, data centers are major emitters of CO2 into the atmosphere. Those emissions contribute to climate change. And datacenter inefficiencies (running more resources than needed, and running resources that go unused, etc.) needlessly make matters worse.

There are several actions that organizations can take in order to identify and reduce their cloud waste. These steps include making accurate cloud resource needs assessments, and comparing them to items such as actual cloud resource usage and contracted service availability. Encouraging and promotion right-sized cloud resourcing, and discouraging padding is a major help.