aws carbon footprint tool
carbon footprint

The carbon footprint of TC2’s clients – how the AWS customer carbon footprint tool works in practice


The AWS customer carbon footprint tool is a tool provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS) that helps customers estimate and understand the environmental impact of their usage of AWS services. In simple terms, it shows the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions associated with running their applications and services on the AWS infrastructure.

„Studies by 451 Research have shown that AWS’ infrastructure is 3.6 times more energy efficient than the median of U.S. enterprise data centers surveyed and up to five times more energy efficient than the average in Europe. 451 Research also found that AWS can lower customers’ workload carbon footprints by nearly 80% compared to surveyed enterprise data centers, and up to 96% once AWS is powered with 100% renewable energy—a target we’re on path to meet by 2025.” – according to AWS

When we use AWS services for our clients, such as running virtual servers or storing data, energy is consumed to power the servers and keep them running. This energy usually comes from various sources, some of which may produce carbon emissions. The customer carbon footprint tool calculates the CO2 emissions based on the energy consumption of the services you use.

The tool takes into account factors such as the type and size of the AWS services you use, the regions where your services are located, and the energy sources used in those regions. It then provides you with an estimate of the carbon emissions associated with your AWS usage, typically measured in metric tons of CO2 equivalent.

This information can be valuable for our customers who want to understand and manage the environmental impact of their operations. It allows them to track their carbon footprint and make informed decisions to optimize their AWS usage and reduce their overall emissions. By using the tool, customers can work towards more sustainable practices and contribute to minimizing the environmental impact of their cloud infrastructure.

As an example, let’s look at the carbon footprint of TC2 Customers using the AWS customer carbon footprint tool:

tc2 carbon footprint

tc2 carbon footprint

The graph shows the estimated AWS emissions and the estimated emissions savings compared to the same on-premise workload. For TC2 customers, this saving is 33.4 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2e) between January 2020 and January 2023. This can be further broken down into two categories:

  1. emissions savings from the efficiency of the AWS cloud infrastructure, in this case 1.8 MTCO2e
  2. emission savings from the purchase of renewable energy from AWS, here 31.6 MTCO2e

In addition to the geographic breakdown, we can also see the carbon emissions from using Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) and other AWS products or services.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is taking a number of measures to reduce carbon emissions:

Energy Efficiency: AWS continually works on improving the energy efficiency of its data centers and infrastructure. This involves using advanced cooling techniques, optimizing server utilization, and deploying energy-efficient hardware. By reducing energy consumption, AWS can lower its carbon emissions.

Carbon Offsetting: AWS invests in projects that help remove or reduce greenhouse gas emissions to offset its carbon footprint. These projects could include reforestation initiatives, methane capture from landfills, or renewable energy projects. By supporting such initiatives, AWS aims to balance out its emissions and achieve carbon neutrality.

Infrastructure Optimization: AWS encourages customers to optimize their infrastructure usage to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions. By utilizing AWS services effectively and efficiently, customers can scale their resources as needed, avoiding over-provisioning and minimizing wasted energy.

Innovation and Research: AWS is committed to driving innovation in sustainable technologies. They invest in research and development to discover new ways to reduce energy consumption, increase renewable energy adoption, and improve overall sustainability across their services and infrastructure.

Transparency and Reporting: AWS is transparent about its sustainability initiatives and provides regular reports on its progress towards reducing its carbon footprint. This includes sharing data on energy usage, renewable energy projects, and emissions reduction strategies.

By taking these steps, AWS aims to lead the industry in sustainability and inspire other organizations to adopt more environmentally friendly practices. Their goal is to provide reliable and scalable cloud services while minimizing their impact on the environment and working towards a sustainable future.