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Cloud Sustainability with AWS

It's greener in the cloud!

The United Nations defines sustainability as "meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs".

Migrating workloads to the AWS Cloud from legacy server hardware is contributing to moving us all to a more sustainable future. But how?

Innovation is key to achieving sustainability goals and AWS provides knowledge and tools for organizations of all sizes and across all sectors to build, innovate and implement solutions that meet their sustainability goals.

AWS is the world’s largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy and plans to power their operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025 and is committed to achieving Amazon's goal of net-zero carbon by 2040.

One of the ways AWS plans to achieve this is through the development and introduction of new processing chips for their data-centres called Graviton. These chips are 60% more efficient than non=Graviton chips.    

AWS has also optimised longevity and airflow performance of their data-centre cooling systems and by using computational fluid dynamics, AWS is predicting and tracking the performance of their data centres. This allows them to optimize energy performance in both existing and new data-centres as they are rolled out.

Studies by 451 Research have shown that AWS’ infrastructure is 3.6 times more energy efficient than the median of U.S. enterprise data-centres surveyed and up to five times more energy efficient than the average in Europe. 451 Research also found that AWS can lower customers’ workload carbon footprints by nearly 80% compared to surveyed enterprise data centres, and up to 96% once AWS is powered with 100% renewable energy.

Specific Initiatives

Amazon Sustainability Data Initiative - The ASDI seeks to accelerate sustainability research and innovation by minimizing the cost and time required to find and analyse large sustainability datasets. These datasets are publicly available to anyone. ASDI also provides cloud grants to those interested in exploring the use of AWS’ technology and scalable infrastructure to solve big, long-term sustainability challenges with this data.
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Water Stewardship - For AWS, operating sustainably also means reducing the amount of water we use to cool our data centres. AWS is committed to being water positive by 2030—that means returning more water to communities and the environment than we use in our operations. To do this, we’re increasing the use of sustainable water sources, improving water use efficiency across our operations, reusing water as much as possible, and supporting water replenishment projects for communities and the environment around the world.
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Carbon reduction - The success of public cloud services has resulted in the creation of cloud data centre campuses much larger than enterprise sites. While hyperscale campuses have attracted scrutiny for their energy usage, they are much more efficient and offer a workload carbon footprint that is a fraction of what enterprises typically produce in their on-premises or colocation data centres.

Learn More - Download the "Carbon Reduction opportunity of moving to Amazon Web Services" white paper.

More information

AWS Sustainability -
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