Cloud providers impacting value streams through a key focus on sustainability 

Craig Edwards

Senior Principal, Cloud

November 28, 2022

Cloud providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS) hold the enviable position of market influencers. AWS has demonstrated its commitment to green power by delivering on its promises to fuel all AWS operations on 100% renewable energy by 2025. That deadline is only three years away and is admirable that cloud providers like AWS are taking sustainability seriously with sustainability now representing a focus area within AWS’ Well-Architected Framework.

Sustainability Expertise 

Reviewing what AWS expect from Solution Architects around sustainability expertise delivers insights into the supplementary duties and skills necessary for advancements in this space. Examples of these specialist qualities are:


  • Apply innovative technology to interpret social and environmental challenges. 
  • Direct customer sustainability initiatives and accelerate sustainability goals. 
  • Help establish and refine customer sustainability requirements and translate these into technical solutions. 
  • Guide customers with measuring, reporting and optimising cloud-based application workloads. 
  • Focus on social impact, supply chain transparency, risk and the management of emissions, water, and waste. 
  • Develop trusted relationships based on proven outcomes and contribute to thought leadership. 


  • Familiar with regulatory requirements, industry-standard guidelines, and trends within the space. 
  • Possess domain expertise in resource utilisation, operational efficiency, emissions management, and waste reduction. 
  • Proven focus on sustainability initiatives across multiple industries. 
  • Balance trade-off decisions at an architectural level for sustainability goals. 
  • Involve next-generation cloud-based services to address sustainability transformation objectives. 
  • Define sustainability workflows by applying scalable, secure, and compliant systems. 
  • Link technology behaviour with measurable environmental sustainability value.  
  • Orchestrate interdisciplinary teams and exercise experience and industry insight to establish a shared passion for sustainability. Cloud Partners symbolise ambassadors for the brand that remain in sync with the trajectory chosen by AWS. Versent not only symbolise ambassadors for the brand but also form critical feedback loops to AWS,relaying vital insights such as customer preferences and their AWS adoption experience.

Cloud Partners symbolise ambassadors for the brand that remain in sync with the trajectory chosen by AWS. Versent not only symbolise ambassadors for the brand but also form critical feedback loops to AWS,relaying vital insights such as customer preferences and their AWS adoption experience. 

Green Software Foundation 

Another area that can make discernible sustainability contributions is initiatives such as the Green Software Foundation. The community that constitutesthis non-profit organisation is playing an integral role in the sustainability domainby focusing its efforts on: 

  • Driving awareness and advocating for green software: Training, certification, event facilitation, and ambassador program initiatives help accomplish this objective. 
  • Composing industry standards for green software: Involves the definition and publication of multi-disciplinary standards, patterns and practices, metrics, and reporting, where voluntary adoption is encouraged. 
  • Actively promoting innovation: Playing an active supporting role within the domain by creating open-source and open-data projects that help align software development efforts.  

A concrete example of a deliverable the foundation produces, which promises to align efforts to design, build and manage green software universally, is its Software Carbon Intensity (SCI) Specification. The SCI signifies an opportunity for organisations to position their thinking and software for inevitable requirements conformance in this space. This methodology aims to guide the calculation of software carbon emission rates, thus helping stakeholders reason about architectures, tools, services, and techniques. The framework accepts criteria as input and renders a simplistic and relative score to denote a point in time carbon profile. Lower scores are more desirable than higher numbers. The foundation is creating an ontology for SCI that portrays a ubiquitous language for semantically equivalent comparison and modelling across solutions. One of the primary challenges with adopting SCI is specifying what constitutes the bounded context of each system, both from an inter-system integration perspective and an underlying service adoption view.  

All these initiatives prove that the focus is shifting to sustainability, and momentum is accelerating. As expectations increase, external pressures such as prescriptive regulation will materialise. There is a social obligation and commercial opportunity to incorporate this concern in service delivery and product design. AWS and Versent are here to assist.

Make an action plan for social responsibility change through Versent’s Green Brick Road our strategic sustainability assessment aligned to your organisation’s sustainability targets. 


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