Amazon has a target to be powered with 100% renewable energy by 2030 and is on a path to reach 100% renewable energy by 2025. In 2020, we reached 65% renewable energy across our business and became the world’s largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy. Our renewable projects will supply energy for Amazon’s corporate offices, Amazon fulfillment centres, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) data centres that support millions of customers globally. They will also help advance Amazon’s goal to reach net-zero carbon emissions across its businesses by 2040.
In Australia we have invested in three renewable energy projects - solar farms in both Gunnedah and Suntop, NSW, and a windfarm in Hawksdale, Victoria. In total, these projects are expected to generate 717,000 MWh annually – or enough to power 115,000 average Australian homes each year.
At Amazon, we are committed to minimising waste and increasing recycling—sending less material to landfill and more back into the circular economy loop.
In Australia, we are proud to report that we have replaced all single use air pillows with 100% recyclable paper material to protect goods during shipping. In May 2021, we introduced a range of smaller boxes of 23 different customised sizes, allowing us to reduce free space in shipments. All our boxes are 100% recyclable and the tape uses water, rather than plastic adhesive, to seal our shipping boxes.
In July 2019, we launched the global Amazon Renewed Program in Australia, to provide previously owned products such as computers, smartphones, and home appliances, with a new lease on life. All products have been inspected and tested by qualified suppliers to work and look like new. In June 2021, we launched the global Amazon Warehouse program in Australia to ensure that as many returned items as possible can be resold, rather than being sent to the landfill. We have an extensive inspection process for products such as furniture, toys, instruments, kitchen appliances, clothes, and more, before they become available for resale.
We are committed to reducing food loss and waste. Earlier this year, we joined forces with Foodbank Australia to donate food approaching its expiry date from our Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne fulfillment centres. This has the dual benefit of reducing food waste, and feeding some of Australia’s most vulnerable communities. Foodbank is Australia’s largest food relief organisation, operating on a scale that makes it crucial to the work of the front line charities who are feeding vulnerable Australians. Foodbank provides more than 70% of the food rescued for food relief organisations nation-wide. To date we have supported Foodbank to assist more than 20,000 people with approximately 380,000 meals.
Our Data Centres
AWS’ scale allows us to achieve higher resource utilisation and energy efficiency than the typical on-premises data centre. AWS is continuously working on ways to increase the energy efficiency of its facilities and equipment, and innovating the design and manufacture of its servers, storage, and networking equipment to reduce energy and water use and limit waste.
The lowest carbon energy is the energy we don’t use. That’s why AWS has been, and remains, laser focused on improving efficiency in every aspect of our infrastructure. From the highly available infrastructure that powers our servers, to techniques we use to cool our data centres, to the innovative server designs we provide to our customers, energy efficiency is a key priority of every part of our global infrastructure.
We removed the large central Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) from our data centre design, instead utilising small battery packs and custom power supplies that we integrate into every rack, which has improved our power efficiency and has further increased availability. Every time power is converted from one voltage to another, or from AC to DC and vice versa, some power is lost in the process. By eliminating the central UPS, we are able to reduce these conversions. Additionally, we have optimised our rack power supplies to reduce energy loss in that final conversion. Combined, these changes reduce energy conversion loss by about 35%.
AWS Graviton2 is our most power-efficient processor. Graviton2 processors are custom built by AWS and provide better performance per watt than any other AWS processor. This is a remarkable improvement in power efficiency. With the world’s increasing need for compute and other IP infrastructures, continually innovating at the chip level is critical to ensuring that we can sustainably power the workloads of the future.
We are relentlessly optimistic about the future. We know that there’s still lots of exploring and inventing that needs to happen. But with passion, collaboration, and continued operational changes, we believe we can build a more sustainable business for our Australian employees, customers, and communities.