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Build a Cleaner Cloud

We’re Calling on Amazon to Shift to Renewable Energy

A Dirty Cloud

Unlike actual clouds, which float in a mist above our heads, “the cloud”, as its known, is a physical network of many computers housed in warehouses all over the world. The servers in these data centers rely on massive amounts of energy to operate. This energy is generated by coal, natural gas, nuclear, or—in best-case scenarios—renewable energy like wind or solar.

Globally, temperatures are increasing, largely due to the burning of fossil fuels like coal and natural gas. While climate change can have widely varying implications depending on the region, it’s clear that the continued use of dirty energy—including by powerful cloud data centers—exacerbates the problem.

There are now more than 3 billion Internet users worldwide, with more than 7 billion predicted by 2020. Data usage is growing by more than 20% per year. A cloud powered by renewable energy is possible. It’s time to build a cleaner cloud.

Amazon Loves Coal’s Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the single largest provider of cloud computing services, host to companies such as Netflix, Pinterest, the New York Times, and many more.  However, in terms of renewable energy use, AWS lags behind almost every other company that operates data centers on a large scale.

AWS has disclosed virtually no useful information about its energy use and its impacts on the climate. Additionally, while the company has pledged to shift to renewable energy, it has no plan or deadline to achieve this goal.

While companies like Apple, Facebook, and Google have committed to running on 100% renewables and are investing in facilities powered by renewable energy, Amazon continues to build data centers that run on coal.

Demand for cloud computing is growing rapidly. Now is the time for AWS to build a greener, cleaner cloud—powered by renewable energy. Join us in taking action!


Green America asks AWS to do the following:  

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Commit to increasing the share of renewable energy powering data centers to 100% by 2020, and cease the construction of new data centers that rely on coal-fired power.

AWS has stated that it has a long-term goal of using 100% renewable energy, but it has no plan or deadline to achieve this. Additionally, the company’s plans for growth include building more data centers in the eastern US region, where only 2% of power currently comes from renewable sources.

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Submit complete and accurate data to the Carbon Disclosure Project.

The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) holds the largest collection of company-reported, climate impact data.  AWS operates more data centers than any of its competitors, and its failure to submit data to the CDP means that few people outside of AWS know exactly how its operations affect the climate.

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Issue an annual sustainability report following Global Reporting Initiative Guidelines.

That which is measured can improve. However, unlike most major corporations, currently issues no sustainability report, and therefore investors and the public have no way of knowing Amazon’s progress (or lack there of) on sustainability issues.

Take Action

As the largest provider of cloud computing services and a voracious consumer of energy, AWS has a responsibility to lead the industry in addressing its impact on emissions from fossil-fuel-generated power.

Join Green America in putting pressure on AWS!

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