AWS Partner Network (APN) Blog

How the Contino Sustainability Dashboard Helps Customers Optimize Their Carbon Footprint

By Lauren Tate, Principal Consultant – Contino
By Rosh Plaha, AWS Pre-Sales Architect – Contino
By Chetan Makvana, Sr. Solutions Architect – AWS
By Jason O’Malley, Sr. Solutions Architect – AWS

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A combination of forces from governments, investors, employees, and customer demand is driving increased awareness of sustainability and the environmental impact that IT workloads have on global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Reducing global GHG emissions is imperative to curb the worst impacts of climate change. Organizations realize they will need to understand their carbon footprint across the whole supply chain of their products and services to improve energy efficiency. However, to date, customers have struggled to determine how their IT footprint contributes to their organization’s wider goals due to:

  • Businesses are unsure how their IT teams can contribute to goals of reducing their carbon footprint.
  • Many IT teams have lacked the right data and tools to plan and track their progress.

This post introduces you to the Contino Sustainability Dashboard, a new open-source tool from Contino, an AWS Premier Tier Services Partner and AWS Marketplace Seller that is a global enterprise DevOps and cloud transformation consultancy. Contino helps organizations adopt and utilize Amazon Web Services (AWS) products to accelerate application delivery and minimize the time-to-market for software-driven innovation.

The Contino Sustainability Dashboard helps customers visualize and identify opportunities to make decisions that will optimize the efficiency of their resource utilization and the overall carbon footprint within their AWS environment.

Tools and Guidance for Sustainability in AWS

For AWS customers looking to understand and reduce the carbon footprint of their AWS infrastructure, the Contino Sustainability Dashboard is a compleimentary tool to both the Sustainability Pillar of the AWS Well-Architected Framework and AWS customer carbon footprint tool.

AWS customers use the customer carbon footprint tool to measure and report on their GHG emissions from AWS usage. Carbon emissions data in the customer tool adhere to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and ISO.

Carbon footprint estimates for AWS usage displayed within the tool include Scope 1 (emissions from direct operations) and Scope 2 (emissions from electricity production) data. The tool updates once per month to display emissions by geography and service, and forecasts future emissions as Amazon progresses toward powering operations with 100% renewable energy.

The Contino Sustainability Dashboard complements the AWS customer carbon footprint tool by providing organizations additional insights and measurement capabilities, which customers can review daily on their dashboards.

These insights help identify where to implement the best practices highlighted in the Sustainability Pillar of the AWS Well-Architected Framework, including region selection, scaling workloads dynamically, using lifecycle policies on assets, using the minimum amount of hardware necessary, and using instances with the least impact.

Contino Sustainability Dashboard in Action Using AWS Services

The Contino Sustainability Dashboard is built with serverless compute provided by AWS and includes a visualization, processing, and data ingestion layer.

The visualization layer is built on Amazon Managed Grafana, allowing customers to visualize the insights on resource utilization metrics. The processing layer uses Amazon Athena and AWS Glue to aggregate data from different sources like the AWS Cost and Usage Report and Amazon CloudWatch. The data layer uses Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) to store the aggregated data.


Figure 1 – Architecture of the Contino Sustainability Dashboard.

The Contino Sustainability Dashboard allows customers to monitor resource-level data of compute, network, storage, and operational usage on AWS. It enables customers to identify waste reduction opportunities, and optimize compute and database utilization.

Contino has open sourced this dashboard, allowing customers to deploy it easily and customize it according to specific needs. Customers can follow the instructions to deploy the solution in under 10 minutes and read information related to the estimated cost when using the tool.


Figure 2 – Contino Sustainability Dashboard view.

By utilizing this dashboard, customers are able to distribute their applications to instances and resource sizes that maximize utilization of their compute and storage resources. Furthermore, customers can monitor and measure adoption of services and features aimed at improving energy efficiency, which can allow customers the opportunity to reduce energy consumption and costs associated with their usage.

Customers utilizing this dashboard will see recommendations related to Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) and Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) instances with low utilization, instances that are not in EC2 Auto Scaling groups, Amazon S3 storage without lifecycle policies, and the utilization of EC2 Spot Instances.

The Tool is Not a Cost Optimization Dashboard

Contino created this tool because it observed customers turning to cost optimization dashboards to help make decisions to increase the efficiency of AWS resource utilization. However, there is not always a direct correlation between cost savings and a reduction in their carbon footprint. Contino believed it could further improve how to address both cost optimization and resource efficiency.

Many factors impact customer costs other than resource usage, such as cost reductions based on Reserved Instances (RIs) or Savings Plans, where there is not a strong correlation between cost savings and energy efficiency.

As a result, metrics based purely on cost will be less accurate for improving energy efficiency. It’s for this reason Contino built this new dashboard focused solely on the efficiency of AWS resource utilization, thus helping direct customers’ efforts.


The Contino Sustainability Dashboard enables IT teams to be accountable and responsible for the configuration and operation of cloud environments, and accelerates their contribution to wider organizational sustainability goals through day-to-day decision making.

The Contino Sustainability Dashboard is available to install from the official Contino GitHub repository. With this dashboard, customers and partners can better understand their AWS resource utilization and find areas to optimize. Using these insights to redirect their resources allows customers the opportunity to better align their AWS utilization with best practices from the Sustainability Pillar of the AWS Well-Architected Framework and the goals of their respective organizations.

Contino has also integrated the dashboard into its Sustainability Design Sprints available in AWS Marketplace. This 10-day workshop delivers actionable insights and the top 10 recommendations customers can take to immediately improve their cloud sustainability posture.

Contino recognizes that sustainability tooling for the cloud is still emerging and encourages like-minded individuals to further contribute to and implement the project. If you’re inspired to help make a difference, please consider getting in touch and contributing to the project through GitHub.


Contino – AWS Partner Spotlight

Contino is an AWS Premier Tier Services Partner and global enterprise DevOps and cloud transformation consultancy. Contino helps organizations adopt and utilize AWS products to accelerate application delivery and minimize the time-to-market for software-driven innovation.

Contact Contino | Partner Overview | AWS Marketplace