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The  AWS Carbon Footprint Tool Featured

The  AWS Carbon Footprint Tool red and green human feet

Recent reports by climate scientists indicate that the effects of global warming are impacting many areas of the world at an alarming pace. Cloud providers like Amazon have been working toward a path of zero carbon emissions in an attempt to do their part to limit the use of fossil fuels. In fact, the company has a goal of using 100% renewable energy by 2025

The cloud community in general is moving in the direction of fully sustainable energy consumption. Simply moving from an on-premises data center to a cloud infrastructure can save an enormous amount of energy. AWS claims that its cloud models provide computing environments that are 88% more efficient than traditional data centers. This can be a major selling point for organizations concerned with the impact of their energy usage.  

Enlightened corporations can take a leading role in pointing society toward a more sustainable future by minimizing their carbon footprint and use of non-renewable energy sources like oil, gas, and coal. Amazon Web Services (AWS) has developed a new tool that can help customers understand how their cloud infrastructure is affecting global warming and climate change. The information it provides can help organizations sustainably tailor their computing environment. In addition to simply doing the right thing, companies that promote sustainability can garner substantial public relations benefits.  

Amazon offers its Customer Carbon Footprint Tool to all AWS customers at no charge. The tool is easily accessible from the AWS Billing Console by opening the Cost and Usage Reports. Scrolling down through the reports brings you to the tool which breaks down a customer’s carbon footprint in a variety of ways, providing a better understanding of the effects of their current environment. 

The tool is comprised of three related sections that display a customer’s carbon emissions emanating from their AWS infrastructure or services. All measurements are in Metric Tons of Carbon Dioxide Equivalent or MTCO2e. The first section shows a customer’s total carbon emissions, those generated in a certain geographic region, and those used by specific AWS services. The report allows users to select a time period during which the data is tracked and shows the emissions saved by using Amazon’s cloud offerings. 

In the second section of the tool, carbon emissions are displayed monthly, quarterly, or annually. Customers can see how fluctuating traffic patterns or business objectives affect their carbon footprint. This can be very instructive for businesses with seasonal peaks and may enable them to modify their services to further reduce emissions. 

The third part of the tool’s display delivers a projection of a customer’s carbon footprint in the coming years. This chart highlights how Amazon’s commitment to sustainability directly affects its customers. All of the company’s clients benefit as Amazon continues to reduce carbon-based emissions. 

Organizations can not only save money in many cases by moving to the cloud but will also be doing their part to ensure a livable world for our children and grandchildren. The AWS Customer Carbon Footprint Tool is an excellent way to gauge the real environmental effects of cloud computing.

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 Robert Agar

I am a freelance writer who graduated from Pace University in New York with a Computer Science degree in 1992. Over the course of a long IT career I have worked for a number of large service providers in a variety of roles revolving around data storage and protection. I currently reside in northeastern Pennsylvania where I write from my home office.

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