The AWS Sustainability Journey: Carbon Data Management For ESG Digital Transformation
27, May 2022
The AWS Sustainability Journey: Carbon Data Management For ESG Digital TransformationDuring the AWS EMEA business strategy update in April, AWS emphasized its cloud technology as a key enabler of sustainability transformation and the role of data to support organizations seeking ESG insights. AWS joins other major tech firms developing and promoting their capabilities to support firms’ path to sustainability. The value proposition presented by AWS and others reinforces the crucial role of data accessibility and transparency for the achievement of sustainability targets.
Firms need comprehensive information to optimize their ESG targets, attract investment, and meet stakeholders’ demands. However, Verdantix research found that ‘ESG data diversity and complexity’ is the most significant barrier to improving ESG and sustainability information, which can expose firms to higher regulatory, operational and reputational risk (see Verdantix Global ESG and Sustainability Governance, Budgets and Priorities Survey 2021).
We’ve already seen examples of major tech firms move forward with ESG and sustainability software and making data more available, for example Salesforce’s Net Zero Cloud and Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability. The focus of all of these firms is primarily on environmental data and carbon emissions. The AWS customer carbon footprint tool, for example, calculates emissions from customers' AWS workloads and assists firms in understanding historical carbon emissions. The AWS customer carbon footprint tool enables firms to leverage granular data to accurately measure Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions, and operationalize sustainability into supply chain risk assessment, corporate ESG initiatives, and compliance. Moreover, AWS also highlighted sustainability solutions powered by data such as the Amazon Sustainability Data Initiative (ASDI)- which supports research through data, tools and technical expertise- and the AWS Data Exchange – a marketplace for commercial data that includes datasets that can be relevant for sustainability.
While we’re encouraged by increasing access to environmental data, we’d also like to see more tech vendors like AWS help firms understand and measure their social impact. Regulation such as the EU Directive on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence will require firms to assess their responsible performance on value chains. As a result, we’d like to see AWS and other cloud vendors leveraging their cloud data capabilities to also offer insights and metrics to enable firms to see the big picture, across environment, social, and governance.