Amazon Web Services has begun using fuel from raw materials to power backup systems at some of their European-based data centres as part of their plan to meet 100% renewable energy by 2025
In an effort to transition to lower greenhouse gas emissions, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has begun using hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) to fuel backup generators at a number of data centres in Europe. This allows for a possibility of greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced by 90% in comparison to other fuels.
The company had originally planned to use 100% renewable energy starting in 2030, but they’re now planning to reach this goal by 2025, following the lead of The Climate Fund Pledge, co-founded by Amazon in 2019. The Pledge has been signed by over 400 major companies.
Within their climate pledges, they have set up services that allow customers to be held accountable for their carbon footprint as well, using a web service called the “Customer Carbon Footprint Tool”. Here they can track their own outputs while using AWS services and the differences between using the AWS remote service versus other on-site providers.
“At AWS, we’re committed to and invested in sustainability because it’s a win all around—it’s good for the planet, for business, for our customers, and for our communities. Transitioning to HVO is just one of the many ways we’re improving the sustainability of our data centres, decarbonising our operations, and working towards Amazon’s company-wide goal to meet net-zero carbon by 2040, 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement. By making this commitment to using sustainably-sourced HVO at our data centres sites, we hope to pave the way for other businesses, and help establish a global supply chain that will accelerate change across Europe working in collaboration with other organisations.” said Neil Morris, Director of Infrastructure Operations, Northern Europe, at AWS.
By making this commitment to using sustainably-sourced HVO at our data centres sites, we hope to pave the way for other businesses, and help establish a global supply chain that will accelerate change across Europe working in collaboration with other organisations.
In Ireland, AWS is working with Certa, a company that emphasises using raw materials in place of diesel, in order to source HVO, but they intend to begin working with more local organisations, expanding their renewable processes into more foreign centres as well. Certa urges companies to transition to HVO because although it is more costly than diesel, the benefits are shown in the long-term effects of burning clean fuel that doesn’t interfere with biodiversity, no extra costs for engine/equipment changes as it is compatible with industrial machinery and has an exemption from carbon taxes.
They are also planning a collaboration for 2025 with PlugPower to be supplied with green hydrogen for Amazon’s transportation and building operations, further expanding their climate plan. The use of electric energy is placed of burned fuel is also becoming increasingly popular, with Amazon incorporating it into its delivery fleet. As of now, Amazon uses Rivian as a source for their delivery vehicles in Europe and the United States, as well as a partnership with APAC.
Additionally, Amazon has the commitment to reach zero net carbon by 2040 as they’ve been the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy since 2020.
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