Zurich-based Infrastructure-as-a-Service provider CloudSigma announced yesterday that it has completed implementation of its carbon offsetting program, claiming its "carbon neutral cloud services are the first of their kind in the industry."

The company boasts efficient, low impact cloud computing. The evaluation into the company's carbon neutral status was conducted by myclimate, a Swiss non-profit organization.

According to CloudSigma CEO Patrick Baillie, the company has adopted a strategy of "avoid, reduce and offset. By choosing an efficient data centre, using modern power efficient equipment and drawing electricity from one of greenest grids in the world, we've gone a long way to reducing our impact. Offsetting the remaining carbon footprint forms an integral part of our commitment to greener computing."

CloudSigma's ability to provide carbon neutral computing comes from several factors. Its data center, located in Switzerland, has one of the highest power efficiencies in Europe for a multi-tenant facility. And Switzerland as a whole has one of the greenest electricity grids in the world. By consuming electricity efficiently from largely low-impact sources, the company avoids generating a significant amount of carbon dioxide.

CloudSigma works with the non-profit myclimate to assess the company's total greenhouse emissions, not just in the hardware and electricity required to run the servers, but in employee travel and office space and equipment. myclimate also develops and supports carbon offset projects around the world that reduce greenhouse gases, such as energy efficient cookers in Peru.

As a Greenpeace report in March pointed out, the rise in big data and cloud computing could lead to a huge increase in CO2 emissions if steps aren't taken by the industry to reduce energy consumption and offset the emissions. According to CloudSigma's Baillie, "We are taking the lead amongst cloud computing providers in voluntarily adopting efficiency policies and fully offsetting any remaining environmental impact."