By Bill Vass, VP of AWS Engineering, and Adrian Cockcroft, VP of Amazon Sustainability Architecture
Climate change took on greater immediacy in early August when the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report projecting near-term climate change impacts, including extreme heat and rising sea levels, in every region of the world. The report also highlighted one piece of good news: Scientists feel more confident that reducing CO2 levels in the atmosphere will help us slow global warming.
At AWS, we believe that climate change demands our immediate attention. We advocate for sustainability and champion the Climate Pledge that Amazon co-founded in 2019 with Global Optimism. We also believe that technology innovation can significantly lower carbon emissions and contribute to a healthy future for our planet.
Our greatest source of hope? Our customers. We’re seeing rapid reinvention around energy as organizations large and small work to transform how we produce and consume it. They’re using the cloud to reduce greenhouse emissions by developing more productive energy sources, smarter power grids, and more efficient industrial operations.
Building smarter energy production
We’ve heard from power and utilities industry leaders that decarbonization through digital strategies is a key focus area for their organizations. Reducing carbon emissions and increasing data usage go hand in hand because smart energy production requires information. With the cloud, organizations can gather data from multiple sources and use it for automation and machine learning.
GE Renewable Energy, for example, is putting “smart” into energy production by using AWS to create virtual versions of its wind turbines. These digital twins gather huge amounts of data from their physical counterparts around the world so that GE engineers can model different production scenarios and operate the turbines more efficiently. GE turbines are also equipped with sensors connected to advanced networks that analyze and adjust turbine operations in real time. These cloud-enabled capabilities help GE Renewable Energy boost efficiency and increase energy production.
Another company developing smart technology is Octopus Energy. This fast-growing provider of renewable energy uses the AWS global infrastructure to power and scale its technology platform, Kraken, which supports over 17 million customers globally. Kraken gathers and analyzes information throughout the day to let customers know, for example, when energy costs are lowest and when energy is available from renewable sources, helping customers save money and make eco-friendly choices. The company also makes its technology available to other energy providers around the world.
Manufacturing innovation that reduces energy use
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the industrial sector accounts for 36% of total U.S. end-use energy consumption, with manufacturing accounting for the largest share. Reducing energy use is a top objective for manufacturers because it enables them to achieve their sustainability goals while lowering costs. Many AWS customers, like Siemens, Mercedes Benz, and Coca-Cola, have signed the Climate Pledge and are working to achieve net-zero annual carbon emissions by 2040.
The cloud can play a significant role in reaching this goal.
Crowley Carbon uses the cloud to help manufacturers, like Dairy Farmers of America, GE Healthcare, and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, reduce their carbon footprint while lowering costs. This AWS customer provides energy optimization and sustainability solutions that aggregate data from a variety of sources—such as live production, weather, and factory systems—and use machine learning to provide insights into energy usage, as well as opportunities for reductions.
Coca-Cola İçecek (CCI), a Coca-Cola bottler serving 400 million consumers, is also building on the cloud to develop energy-saving solutions as part of its commitment to sustainability. CCI has developed a digital twin platform on AWS that enables intelligent manufacturing by optimizing production processes and assets through industrial data-driven monitoring, analytics, and predictive technologies. As a result, CCI has saved 20% on energy and 9% on water on two process systems annually. CCI is implementing this platform in other plants and continues to innovate to improve operational efficiency and sustainability.
Accelerating the development of clean energy
Moving to the cloud can be a great first step in the sustainability journey. A recent study by 451 Research, part of S&P Global Market Intelligence, found that AWS can help customers reduce the carbon footprint of their IT operations by up to 88%. Transformation happens as organizations use the cloud to make their own operations more efficient and invent new approaches to energy production and use.
We’ve been so inspired by the work our customers are doing in these areas that we’ve joined with Freshwater Advisors to create the AWS Clean Energy Accelerator. Through this program, we provide mentorship, AWS Promotional Credit, and collaboration opportunities to startups that develop clean energy solutions.
Climate change is the biggest, most important challenge we face. The good news is that we have the tools to reimagine how we power our world, and organizations are now using them to innovate, become more sustainable, and make a positive impact.
To learn more about how AWS helps industrial customers operate more productively and efficiently, go to AWS for Industrial. To learn more about how AWS helps organizations across all sectors build and implement solutions that meet their sustainability goals, go to AWS Sustainability.