Environmental Layer


AWS proactively prepares for potential environmental threats, like natural disasters and fire. Installing automatic sensors and responsive equipment are two ways we safeguard our data centers. Water-detecting devices can alert employees to problems as automatic pumps work to remove liquid and prevent damage. Similarly, automatic fire detection and suppression equipment reduces risk and can notify AWS employees and firefighters of a problem.


Unlike virtually every other technology infrastructure provider, each AWS Region has multiple Availability Zones. Each Availability Zone consists of one or more data centers, are physically separated from one another, and have redundant power and networking. Customers who care about high availability and performance of their applications can deploy applications across multiple Availability Zones in the same region for fault tolerance and low latency. Availability Zones are connected to each other with fast, private fiber-optic networking, enabling you to easily architect applications that automatically fail-over between Availability Zones without interruption.


The AWS Business Continuity Plan is an operations process guide outlining how to avoid and lessen disruptions due to natural disasters with detailed steps to take before, during, and after an event. To mitigate and prepare for the unexpected, AWS tests the Business Continuity Plan regularly with drills that simulate different scenarios. We document how our people and processes perform, then debrief on lessons learned and any corrective actions that may be needed to improve our response rate. We are trained and ready to rebound from disruptions quickly, which includes a methodical recovery process to minimize further downtime due to errors.


In addition to addressing environmental risks, we also invest and innovate to incorporate sustainability into our data center design to provide the efficient, resilient service our customers expect while minimizing our environmental footprint—and theirs.  Amazon is committed to reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2040, is on a path to power its operations, including AWS data centers, with 100% renewable energy by 2025. AWS is also focused on energy efficiency across all aspects of our infrastructure and has committed to return more water to communities than AWS uses in its direct operations by 2030, and reducing waste. Research found that moving on-premises workloads to AWS can lower the workload carbon footprint by nearly 80% and up to 96% once AWS is powered with 100% renewable energy, a target we’re on path to meet by 2025. To learn more, visit Sustainability in the Cloud.