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How to Innovate and Create a Sustainable Future with AWS

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Experience Digital has been in the world of Serverless for many years now, but what does this mean when it comes to sustainability?

After reading the findings from a new study completed by 451 Research on The Carbon Reduction Opportunity of Moving to the Cloud for APAC, which is part of the S&P Global Marketing Intelligence, it shows that migrating IT workloads from on-premise data centres to the cloud can improve energy efficiency. Furthermore, this can reduce carbon emissions by up to 80%. This report showcases the findings from 515 surveyed organisations which hold between $10 million and $1 billion USD in annual revenue across the following countries; Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Australia and India – including 100+ Australian public sector organisations, and enterprises across a large portion of industry sectors.

For both Australian enterprise and public sector companies, this totals an estimated carbon reduction annually of over 3,100 metric tonnes in carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) per MW of enterprise data centre capacity.

There are a growing number of customers that migrate workloads from on-premise data centres to AWS, and with this, each of them receives a number of benefits both from a financial standpoint, as well as a security and sustainability perspective. With global infrastructure AWS boasts a range of services available to organisations that promise an increase in agility, to drive innovation, reduce costs and energy consumption.

Why is the move to AWS more sustainable? (compared to on-premise)

AWS continues to play in the realm of sustainability – driving energy efficiency and providing continuous innovation within their data centres. Within the 451 Research, it is estimated that large scale cloud data centres perform similar workloads with five times greater energy efficiency compared to companies and public sector organisations across the APAC region.

This is largely due to the economy of scale AWS can achieve with a greater resource in utilisation and energy efficiency, compared to the same unit of work within a typical on-premise data centre. The AWS global infrastructure is housed on AWS custom hardware which has been purpose-built and optimised for customer workloads. The design of the equipment means AWS can operate efficiently and monitor performance, allowing for oversight on power efficiency gains.

Further to this, Amazon is now the world’s largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy, further reinforcing their commitment to sustainability – with an ultimate goal to be net-zero carbon by 2025 (on track five years ahead of their original target). AWS already matches 100% of its energy use with clean energy in five out of twenty-two of its regions including North America and Europe.

Amazon’s leadership in investing and adopting renewable energy around the world paves the way for new innovation, and the ability to scale at the pace needed to address the real threats to the planet, people, and businesses posed by climate change – Miranda Ballentine, CEO of Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA)

AWS has multiple initiatives that intertwine innovation with sustainability involving leveraging their reach to evolve and do better. The Amazon Sustainability Data Initiative (ASDI) further strengthens its commitment, seeking to accelerate sustainability research and innovation through minimisation of time and cost required to acquire large datasets in the realm of sustainability. AWS provides continual sustainability of the cloud, whilst providing countless resources encouraging its customers to adopt an energy-efficient mindset through prompting infrastructure optimisation within the cloud.

Water stewardship is also a strong focus for AWS as they utilise technology to evaluate climate patterns, water management and availability in multiple AWS regions to assess which water cooling solution is most efficient in each individual data centre before implementing it. This focus also transcends into the community as they deliver cooled water back into the community for irrigation use in Oregon. AWS’ partnership with Water.org & WaterAid in India and Indonesia also sees these communities of 165,000 people benefit from a combined 945 million litres of water per year.

Understanding Sustainability Globally and Working Together to Move Forward

Innovation is crucial for success, it’s important for organisations to assist customers to achieve sustainability in a valuable way. There’s always more than one answer when it comes to sustainability, but cloud technology is a great starting point. The above-mentioned changes (and countless others) implemented by AWS promote sustainable growth, gains in security and reduced overheads both physically and financially.

AWS serves millions of customers worldwide, priding itself on always being at the forefront of innovation and delivering this cutting edge technology to them, with a truly customer-centric mindset driving them forward. As such, AWS aims to support their customers through continual partnerships aimed to continue to increase their customer’s experience, whether that be through the availability of resources, cost optimisation or efficiency.

AWS partnered with one of NZ’s largest energy companies, Vector, to develop a New Energy Platform (NEP) and continue to transform the ability to harness data for energy and utility companies. NEP assists these businesses in the development of customised solutions for their customers based on their individual energy consumption – further exceeding customer expectations of availability and affordability.

The NEP leverages AWS’ vast array of IoT and Machine Learning solutions to fuel its goal of mass distribution across Australia and NZ to provide consumers with more reliable, clean energy options.

AWS works closely in collaboration with many of its customers to advance upon the shared goals of sustainability and efficiency. Having recognised the rapid increase in startups within the clean energy sector, AWS launched the Clean Energy Accelerator program. The program seeks to help clean energy startups accelerate their impact through accessing resources and broadening their reach. Partnering with a US-based innovation consultancy firm, AWS selected 10 startups to participate in the program which launched in June with the provision of industry experts and assistance to navigate AWS resources. The program represents the true testament to AWS’ commitment to sustainability.

Conclusion

By utilising AWS cloud computing services, ​​organisations are able to achieve both their business objectives as well as their environmental sustainability goals. Businesses have traditionally been driven to cloud adoption purely for the financial and agility benefits, though sustainability is quickly becoming higher on the scale of importance. The collective goal of reducing our impact on the planet is accelerated by AWS’ ability to continually implement further operationally efficient initiatives for cloud infrastructure that leverage their available resources.

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