AWS Architecture Blog

Deepen Your Knowledge of Architecting for Sustainability at re:Invent

This year, AWS customers took on sustainability challenges, including energy efficient building management, environmental and social governance reporting, and near-real-time renewable energy plant monitoring. Underscoring these unique and compelling projects is a need to understand, at the developer level, how to architect sustainably. So, this year, we’re excited to share sustainability content at re:Invent to inspire teams, to learn from each other, to get hands on, and to see what‘s possible when we combine technology with sustainability.

I recommend that all architects, developers, and anyone involved with AWS workloads tune in to ARC325, Architecting for sustainability. In this session, we’ll explore why teams would want to architect sustainably, and then dive into practical actions teams can apply to their own workloads. (You’ll also learn a bit about what AWS does to optimize for sustainability). ARC325 will feature an AWS enterprise customer and their engineering teams’ sustainability journey. Sustainability is an important non-functional requirement for their engineering teams, so they created a process to factor sustainability into their workload planning and execution. This will be an engaging session for engineering teams seeking to include sustainability into their workflows.

I’m personally very excited about STG209, Building a sustainable infrastructure with AWS Cloud storage. It will cover different storage options at AWS and how using efficient storage options strategically can help teams lower their storage carbon footprint.

I also recommend reserving a spot in Nat Sahlstrom’s session, ARC206, Sustainability in AWS global infrastructure. Nat is a Director, AWS energy strategy, and will share updates on AWS sustainability efforts, including updates on Amazon’s path to reach 100% renewable energy by 2025. Nat will also cover some key topics, such as water stewardship and how we work with communities in which our data centers are built.

Software developers and teams will definitely want to tune in for OPN301, Using Rust to minimize environmental impact. Studies have shown that Rust consumes less energy than other programming languages such as Python (98% less), Java (50% less), and C++ (23% less). In OPN301, Chairwoman of the Rust Foundation, Shane Miller, and AWS teammate, Carl Lerche, will explain how the efficiency gains of Rust can enable more workloads per watt and how to start using Rust in your own projects.

Explore hands-on sustainability activities

Check out our AWS GameDay – Reuse, Recycle, Reduce, Rearchitect. GameDays are collaborative learning exercises that test your skills as you implement AWS solutions (or fix broken ones) to solve real-world challenges in a gamified, risk-free environment. In Reuse, Recycle, Reduce, Rearchitect, teams play the role of new hires in a fictitious company (Unicorn.Rentals). Unicorn.Rentals rents unicorns to travelers around the world and has just made a holistic commitment to transform its business for sustainability. Teams will help Unicorn.Rentals find and reduce hotspots in their AWS usage and help optimize architectures for sustainability by better matching resource consumption to need, selecting the right instance to get the job done, and improving the efficiency of their software. Then, teams will help Unicorn.Rentals predict (and avoid) wildfires and understand and rank their suppliers based on sustainability commitments. After the GameDay, teams will understand practically how to architect sustainably and see some ways IT can support the sustainability goals of the broader organization.

For those looking for a creative build outlet, we will have the Code Green! Hackathon, where entrants can build sustainability solutions using data from the Amazon Sustainability Data Initiative (ASDI) or the AWS Data Exchange. All code resulting from the hackathon will be open sourced. You can see previous hack results from 2019 here.

Celebrate AWS customers innovating for sustainability

Don’t miss our special premiere video screening of AWS customers addressing climate change and driving sustainability! Climate Next is an original documentary series about AWS customers using AWS technologies to fight climate change. The short-form documentaries feature inspiring stories and engaging cinematography. We will host a Q&A reception with featured customers and the creative producer immediately following the screening. Join us for this special premiere screening at re:Invent Tuesday, November 30 at 6:30-8:00 pm PDT.

There’s even more going on, so we’ve put together a re:Invent sustainability attendee guide to make it easy to find all sessions related to sustainability. We hope you can join us – either in person or virtually!

We look forward to seeing you there!

Margaret O'Toole

Margaret O'Toole

Margaret O’Toole is the tech leader for environmental sustainability at AWS. She oversees customer-facing technical initiatives in sustainability and acts as liaison between the AWS Service and Infrastructure teams and the technical field community. Her goal is to make it easier for customers of any size to solve challenges in their sustainability transformations by using the AWS Cloud. Margaret has been with AWS since 2017.