Using Carbon Footprint Tools for AWS Sustainability

First announced in December 2021 alongside Sustainability as the sixth pillar of the AWS Well-Architected Framework, Amazon released the Customer Carbon Footprint Tool in March 2022. This data dashboard helps businesses relying on Amazon Web Services better understand the environmental impact of their workload.

Here’s how the tool works and how it helps you improve compliance with AWS Sustainability standards.

Background Information

The Carbon Footprint Tool’s primary purpose is to help customers visualise the MTCO2e (metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent) emissions generated by their usage of AWS services and make each customer an active element in reducing worldwide emissions and the overall environmental impact of cloud computing.

What the Tool Displays

The Carbon Footprint Tool is a free tool available to customers in the AWS Billing Console, under Cost & Usage Reports. It functions like other data dashboards, allowing you to set start and end dates and display data relevant to the selected period.

The carbon emissions data displayed are Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions, as defined by the EPA. The data used is fully compliant with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, an international standard system for reporting emissions of greenhouse gases, such as CO2.

After setting your start and end month, the data displayed is broken down into the following sections and categories:

● Carbon emissions summary
This section displays your estimated AWS usage carbon emissions and how many MTCO2e emissions you saved using AWS over local hosting. It provides a quick, at-a-glance number that helps visualise the effectiveness and sustainability of AWS services.

● Emission savings summary
This section further breaks down your total AWS emissions savings into two categories: savings from using AWS computing services and AWS renewable energy purchases.

● Emissions by geography
This section shows a pie chart with your emissions in three geographic areas: APAC (Asia-pacific), EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa), and AMER (Americas).

● Emissions by services
This section lists the AWS services utilised (EC2, S3, etc.) and the emissions produced per service. It can help you understand which services consume the most energy and give you clues on how to optimise your resource consumption.

● Emissions graphs
The second half of the dashboard comprises two emissions graphs:

● A timeline graph of your carbon emissions month per month, with settings to see your emissions quarter-by-quarter and year-by-year
● A graph showing the projected progress to 100% renewable energy based on your current consumption.

Become Fully Sustainable With an AWS Partner
At WOLK Technology, our role is to help you transition to the cloud efficiently and ensure your data’s safety, operational excellence, and sustainability. Contact one of our experts today to learn more about AWS sustainability compliance.

The AWS Well-Architected Framework’s first pillar, Operational Excellence, ensures your company runs optimally. To accomplish operational excellence, you can follow the four designated best practice areas of this pillar, organisation, prepare, operate, and evolve.

The first best practice area, organisation, is critical for Operational Excellence because having an organised system makes it easier to identify and solve problems and allows your team to work together seamlessly.

Organisation Helps Your Team Work Better
Knowing exactly what they should be doing at all times helps your team remain consistent and excel at their jobs. Without an organised structure, your team may not know what to do without asking a supervisor, slowing down their pace.

You can also benefit from organised goals. If your team knows your daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly goals, they can alert someone if they notice your output falling behind. Additionally, knowing the goals can empower your team to work harder.

Having an organised plan for emergencies can help reduce the damage since you won’t need to spend time devising a way to deal with the problem. If you follow the organisation best practice, your team should know the process for dealing with most contingencies. Ensure you create contingency plans for various problems, including physical ones, like a fire in the building or loss of electricity, and virtual ones, like a hacking attempt or a virus in your system.

Ensures You Meet All Regulations
Another significant benefit of following organisational best practices is that you minimise your chances of missing an important deadline or failing to fulfil an industry regulation. Some industries have extensive regulations, from reporting requirements to maintaining certain standards.

Particularly if you operate across national borders, remembering and following all the necessary regulations is challenging. Having an organised structure that tracks deadlines and requirements is essential to keeping your company’s practice aligned with legal requirements. Additionally, you can organise a structure that continues to check for any changes in regulations that could affect your operations.

Work With WOLK to Ensure Your Organisation is Top-Notch
WOLK is an AWS Well-Architected Program Partner and can offer you an AWS Well-Architected Program Review. Starting with an initial, free consultation, we review all your business practices and ensure that you comply with the AWS Well-Architected Program.

We can identify any problem areas and offer solutions, whether you need help organising your structure or improving your cloud security protocols.

Call us today on 03 8669 1414 to learn more about how we can help your company excel with AWS.