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Amazon Web Services (AWS) has moved to assure enterprises and governments around the world that details about its Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) will be made available to them via its Customer Carbon Footprint Tool from “early 2024”.
A report by Computer Weekly in April 2023 saw the public cloud giant come in for criticism for taking so long to freely provide its customers with Scope 3 data, given its contemporaries – Google and Microsoft – have each provided this information to their respective cloud customer bases since 2021.
It is known that AWS can provide Scope 3 data to customers under non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), but Computer Weekly understands that this opportunity is typically only afforded to the firm’s biggest customers.
Pressure on AWS to provide this data freely to customers is known to have increased of late, as regulators and governments in multiple countries are prepping regulations that will put the onus on enterprises to transparently and accurately report their Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3 GHG emissions.
Since March 2022, AWS has made it possible for customers to keep tabs on their Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions, with the help of its Customer Carbon Footprint Tool. And – in a statement to Computer Weekly – the company confirmed Scope 3 data will be possible to track through the tool from early next year.
“We are conducting robust lifecycle assessments for our business to provide customers with high-quality Scope 3 carbon emissions data,” said an AWS spokesperson. “We will incorporate this data into the Customer Carbon Footprint Tool in early 2024.”
Scope 3 emissions are generally considered to be the most difficult for companies to track because they are emissions generated by an organisation’s wider supply chain, which includes its suppliers and customers.
This could be why AWS customers continue to wait for free access to the firm’s Scope 3 emissions data. Although, as detailed in a Computer Weekly article in February 2023, the departure of several high-profile members of the company’s sustainability team is also thought to have been a factor in the delays.
One of the recent departees is Christopher Wellise, who served as AWS’s director of worldwide sustainability and carbon before leaving after two years at the company in January 2023. His remit included overseeing the ongoing development of the AWS Customer Carbon Footprint Tool.
Until last month, the tool itself had been subject to no updates in more than a year, but AWS announced in a blog post on 19 April 2023 that it had now added functionality that would allow users to download its emissions data in CSV format.
Adrian Cockcroft, who served as the vice-president of sustainability architecture at AWS until June 2022, said of the update, in a public LinkedIn post: “Tiny steps, but it’s the first update in over a year, so I’m happy to see any activity in this area.”
Read more about AWS and sustainability
- Amazon’s cloud arm has seen several high-profile departures leave its sustainability teams, but the company denies its hiring freeze is stalling efforts to help AWS customers bring their carbon emissions down.
- With regulator scrutiny of their environmental footprint on the rise, AWS customers are growing increasingly concerned about the public cloud giant’s slow progress in making its Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions data freely available to users.