Sustainability & ESG
Minimizing Environmental Impact with a Culture of Sustainable Innovation
AWS customers use our services in a wide range of ways to collect, analyze, and manage sustainability data to build transparency and accelerate progress. In this eBook, we’ll explore stories of how several of our leading customers are accomplishing big things along their own paths to sustainability in cloud migration, sustainable IT, carbon emissions tracking, and building efficiency.
Collaborating Across the Supply Chain
A conversation with Rodrigo Santos, president of Bayer Crop Science Division and Jake Joraanstad, CEO at Bushel.
The Crop Science Division of Bayer conceptualized how to use carbon data from farms to signal the value of sustainable practices downstream through the supply chain. Bayer collaborated with Bushel, an ag-tech company, and AWS to turn the concept into a solution.
Scaling Sustainability Innovation
A conversation with Ruth Gratzke, President of Siemens Smart Infrastructure U.S. and CEO of Siemens Industry Inc.
Hear how AWS and Siemens are utilizing technology to integrate sustainability into their infrastructure and operations, as well as helping customers and partners deploy solutions to achieve their sustainability goals.
By Mark Schwartz
AWS Enterprise Strategist
Environmental and social governance, or ESG, is a growing concern for business leaders—and for government regulators, investors, and standards bodies. The critical thing to understand about ESG is that it is a strategic concern of businesses, not just a nice-to-have activity. According to a Fortune 500 company board member, “companies are recognizing that taking care of broader stakeholders in the business over the mid- to long-term is a good thing for the long-term sustainability of the business.”
We often talk about the cultural change and the shift in mental models needed for an organization to thrive in the digital age. In this post I mean to suggest that we need a further change in culture and mental models to make ESG an aspect of everything we do. So how can IT promote ESG strategies?
45% of board directors now say that ESG is a regular part of the board’s agenda, up from 34% in 2019.
Companies across all industries have set ambitious goals to reduce the environmental impact of their operations. Achieving these goals requires collaboration across an organization, from senior executives to leaders who execute sustainability initiatives relevant to their area of the business. To accelerate progress, leaders need to align business and technical teams and build the scalable solutions required to accurately measure and report on sustainability programs, and continuously improve performance.
Wefarm powers the world’s largest farmer to farmer digital network. See how they are using machine learning on AWS to enable knowledge sharing among small holder farmers. With over a billion small holder farms contributing more than 70% of the world’s food – Wefarm plays an important role in using technology to develop the food supply and build resilience for small holder farmers.
About 85% of the world’s population is already being affected by human-driven climate change, a Nature Climate Change study finds, and nearly 70% of all economic sectors worldwide are impacted, according to Deloitte research. The Climate Connections eBook provides a guide to help customers bring these resources together with the cloud and offers insights from AWS climate experts across both public and private sectors. C-suite and leaders can learn how AWS customers achieve their climate adaptation, resilience, and sustainability goals.
All companies have a role to play in investing in solutions to protect the planet and the economy. And all companies – including Amazon – have work to do to further reduce their operations’ carbon footprint and carbon intensity. In addition to being the right thing to do, taking ambitious climate action can spur innovation that helps a business and its customers.
The Climate Pledge is a commitment to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2040—10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement. Amazon co-founded The Climate Pledge in 2019 to build a cross-sector community of companies, organizations, individuals, and partners working together to address the climate crisis and solve the challenges of decarbonizing our economy.
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Environmental sustainability in business is the practice of incorporating sustainable strategies into an organization’s operations—often including strategies to increase energy efficiency, use renewable energy, reduce carbon emissions, and reduce waste.
In these corporate environments, decisions take environmental factors into account and aim to control the impact of operations, minimizing long-term liabilities and maximizing profits for not only the company but for people and the planet. By focusing on sustainability, companies can collectively work to impact problems such as climate change and loss of natural resources.
Companies that succeed in achieving these goals do so with a combination of strategies specific to their industry, such as using natural resources cautiously and reducing packaging.
When adopting this approach, business owners need to consider energy efficiency as a top priority. Moving to AWS can effectively lower an organization’s workload carbon footprint as AWS gets closer to our goal of achieving 100% renewal energy use by 2025. Switching to the cloud and using energy-efficient devices and software reduces the overconsumption of power facilities, excessive greenhouse gas emissions, and waste, among other things.
There are multiple ways to approach business sustainability. Companies should focus on attainable and realistic goals such as taking actionable steps to reduce carbon emissions, air pollution, water pollution, and waste.
In most cases, it’s best to start by identifying operational areas that consume high volumes of energy. Explore ways to reduce energy usage, such as using renewable energy resources to power facilities like data centers and servers.
Switching to AWS for sustainable digital solutions is a step toward that goal. Because AWS promotes efficiency across the IT infrastructure and powers operations with an increasingly higher ratio of renewable energy, our customers effectively lower their own carbon footprint.
AI monitoring and tracking can also help sustainable businesses adopt automated workflows. Reliance on AI, such as machine learning and optimized tracking of supplies, production, and logistics, can limit an organization’s carbon footprint while simultaneously maximizing team productivity. Installing low-energy lightning, migrating data to the cloud, and going paperless are other strategies that effectively reduce the impact of an individual business on the environment.
Rapidly growing climate change concerns and environmental degradation make sustainability a necessity for today’s businesses. The benefits of running a more sustainable business are multifaceted:
- The foremost benefit is impacting climate change. Mindful utilization of natural resources, shifting to renewable energy resources, and eliminating unnecessary power consumption can all make a difference.
- Forward-thinking industry leaders will adapt conventional business models to incorporate modern market needs. Consumers expect greener solutions and more sustainable business practices across nearly all industries.
- Sustainable businesses gain a competitive edge over competitors. These efforts help build brand loyalty and trust as socially conscious consumers switch to companies that incorporate sustainability in their business strategies.
- Business sustainability reduces operational costs by cutting down energy consumption and industrial waste.
- Respecting the environment through energy efficiency and production attracts human resources and stakeholders.
- Taken together, these factors contribute to organizational growth while aligning with more sustainable goals for business operations.
Sustainable investing can be profitable. Various factors make these investments financially beneficial:
- Eliminating superfluous processes within the supply chain reduces operational costs.
- Accessibility to advanced tools can enhance team collaboration.
- Automated workflow and AI-monitored systems allow teams to prioritize tasks and focus on innovation instead of engaging in energy-wasting activities.
- These cultural shifts positively impact overall business operations as the company explores ways to grow and find new opportunities.
- As a result, companies can produce higher-quality products and deliverables, which can cause an uptick in consumer satisfaction and retention.
- A safe workplace environment and a corporate culture that values sustainable business practices can attract high-performing candidates to the company.