Understanding your carbon emission estimations - AWS Billing

Understanding your carbon emission estimations

Carbon emissions data in the customer carbon footprint tool adhere to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and ISO. Carbon footprint estimates for AWS include Scope 1 (emissions from direct operations) and Scope 2 (emissions from electricity production) data. For more information about carbon emissions, see the EPA Scope 1 and Scope 2 Inventory Guidance.

The Scope 2 portion of the estimate is calculated using the GHGP market-based method. This means it factors in Amazon enabled renewable projects on the grids where the customer footprint is being estimated. Because we use the market-based method to calculate Scope 2 emissions, only purchased renewables on the grid where your workloads are running are included in the carbon footprint estimates. Estimates factor the grid mix of the AWS Regions where you run your workloads, following GHGP guidance. Carbon emission estimates also factor in the AWS power usage effectiveness (PUE) in our data centers.

To estimate your emissions savings compared to on-premises workload equivalent, we use data from 451 Research, which is a part of S&P Global Market Intelligence. This research found that AWS can lower a workload's carbon footprint by 88% for the median surveyed US enterprise data centers, and compared to European data enterprise centers, up to 96% once AWS is powered with 100% renewable energy. This target is on path to meet by the year 2025. For more information, see Reducing carbon by moving to AWS.

Regions, usage, and billing data factors

Electricity grids in different parts of the world use various sources of power. Some use carbon-intense fuels (for example, coal), and some are primarily low-carbon hydro or other renewables. The locations of Amazon's renewable energy projects also play a role, because the energy produces by these projects are accounted against our emissions from Regions on the same grid. As a result, not all AWS Regions have the same carbon intensity.

There are some Regions where high usage result in relatively low emissions. There are others where the low usage results in higher emissions. For carbon reports, EMEA Regions are often shown as under represented in estimates since there are more renewables on the grid. APAC Regions are often shown over represented in estimates. This is because sourcing renewable energy is difficult. Carbon estimates are based on usage only, and one-time charges such as upfront Savings Plan purchases, won't result in similar increases in carbon emissions.

Customer carbon footprint tool and Amazon's carbon footprint report

Amazon's carbon footprint report is a part of our annual sustainability report. This covers Scope 1 through 3 emissions for all Amazon operations, including Amazon Web Services. The customer carbon footprint report provides you with the emissions that attribute to your own AWS usage. For more information, see Amazon Sustainability.