This week, Amazon – on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) website – has stated a ‘long-term commitment to achieve 100% renewable energy usage for [its] global infrastructure footprint,’  following a Greenpeace April report which ranked Amazon as one of the poorest performing data centre operators.

The announcement also emphasised that AWS offers customers three 100% carbon-neutral regions in US West (Oregon), EU (Frankfurt), and AWS GovCloud (US) and that cloud computing is more environmentally friendly than traditional computing.

“AWS Infrastructure uses rack-optimised systems that use less than one eight the energy of the blade server enclosures that are often used in corporate datacentres. Because AWS pools resources, customers who deploy applications in the cloud reduce their carbon footprint by default and significantly reduce the amount of environmental waste that occurs when individual datacentres don’t operate near their capacity.”

Green internet

Commenting on the announcement, Greenpeace senior IT campaigner Gary Cook said: “Amazon Web Services’ new commitment to power its operations with 100% renewable energy represents a potential breakthrough toward building a green internet.

“With the world’s largest public cloud apparently joining Apple, Google, Facebook and others in committing to power with 100% renewable energy, the race to build a green internet may be gaining a crucial new competitor.

“However, Amazon’s customers will need more information to be sure that AWS means business about renewable energy. AWS should offer a plan for how it will implement its ambitious new commitment across its footprint. Apple, Facebook and Google, three of Amazon’s peers and rivals, all have laid out road maps that explain how they intend to achieve their goals of procuring 100% renewable energy.”

Lois Vallely

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