Do Amazon and Sustainability sound right in the same sentence?

Dynamo recently collaborated with Amazon Web Services here in the North East for a conference exploring “Digital Innovation’s Role in Sustainability” and I have to admit, the title of this blog was probably my very first thought.

Working with AWS and attending the conference provided so much good information and I was left feeling impressed by what they are trying to achieve – check this out for further information – https://sustainability.aboutamazon.com/ .

When we talk about impact within sustainability, we discuss that the first priority is reducing our own, and our organisations, negative impact on environment and society.  If you engage with AWS to explore how they can help, they approach from a digital point of view (which might be expected) by looking at operational changes – First, they move your systems to a more cloud-based infrastructure, so you are not using on-site servers and the energy and production costs they require (and which also allows for increased agility for the access of information e.g. working remotely and accessing your files and systems from home.)  Second, they look at your operational efficiency through your data systems and try to make things work like a dream.  Whilst this reduces your own operational impact on people and environment, it also starts to create positive impact around more efficient ways of doing things and having better data at your fingertips to make better decisions.

If you move on from this point, working with the AWS process is then about transforming products and services before you consider organisational transformation.  I like their style!

My favourite example was all about Bees!!  With AI (Artificial Intelligence) and ML (Machine Learning), for a honey making business, small gadgets were put inside the hives.  The AI & ML worked out the optimal conditions in the hive for honey production.  The outcome:- not only was more honey produced, bee mortality decreased by 40%.  With Bee conservation such a high priority for the world – this project created some unexpected positive outcomes.

Beyond our conference, AWS is doing a lot in the world of Digital Innovation and Sustainability and it doesn’t look like they are thinking of slowing down anytime soon.  The Amazon Sustainability Data Initiative (ASDI) seeks to accelerate sustainability research and innovation by minimising the cost and time required to acquire and analyse large sustainability datasets. For us to change human and business systems and move to a more sustainable world, we need good data and we are only just starting to understand what we need to collect and collaborate on to make this possible.  Good data leads to good decisions – and will hopefully take our ability to move to sustainable solutions to the next level.

There is so much more, and it doesn’t all fall into AWS’ responsibility or process, however they are paving a way and finding out how they feel (and increasingly can evidence) that they make a difference when it comes to sustainability.  I look forward to hearing more.

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