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Amazon AWS re:Invent 2023: Partners Tackle Sustainability During AI, Cloud Services Conversations

December 1, 2023 by Joe Panettieri

At the AWS re:Invent 2023 conference this week, discussions about sustainability emerged in multiple AI (artificial intelligence), cloud services and hardware sessions.

Ruba Borno, VP, worldwide channels and alliances, AWS
Ruba Borno, VP, worldwide channels and alliances, AWS

Indeed, key partners such as Adobe, Capgemini, Ericsson, HCLTech, Kone, Mesh-AI and Siemens Energy discussed various sustainability solutions and strategies during numerous conference sessions.

The overall conference -- which ran from November 27 through December 1 in Las Vegas, Nevada -- was designed for cloud enthusiasts, experts, and practitioners. The event featured more than 2,000 sessions, many of which are designed for IT consulting firms, IT service providers and MSPs.

Amid the conference, Amazon continues to press forward with its own sustainability strategy. There have been signs of progress -- particularly in terms of cloud data centers leveraging renewable energy. And software developers leveraging the cloud for green IT services and ESG services. But there also have been challenges in several areas.

Video: Complete Partner Keynote

Here is the complete AWS re:Invent partner keynote, featuring Ruba Borno, VP of AWS worldwide channels and alliances:

At the Conference: Sustainability News for Technology Partners

1. Sustainability Partner of the Year: Mesh-AI -- a data and artificial intelligence consultancy -- has been named AWS Sustainability Partner of the Year.

2. Supply Chain Software: AWS Supply Chain software will gain sustainability capabilities in 2024, the company said. Early adopters include Boston Consulting Group (BCG)Equipment Depot and the Woodside global energy company, according to statements from each business. 

3. Sustainability Software:  Clarity AI, a technology company that delivers environmental and social insights to ensure that companies and consumers invest and purchase sustainably, runs entirely on AWS, the two companies said. 

4. Got News to Share?: Please email me the details (Joe@MentoreVentures.com).

AWS re:Invent 2023: Sustainability, Climate Action and Cloud Services Sessions

Rahul Sareen AWS
Rahul Sareen, global head of sustainability solutions and go to market, AWS

Meanwhile, Amazon and partners emphasized sustainability strategies at the conference. Here are some (though not all) of the conference sessions that will tackle sustainability, green IT, carbon reduction and net-zero strategies:

1. Lightening Talk: How AWS is used to fight natural disasters and mitigate wildfire risk

By using technologies like data analytics and machine learning, AWS is empowering firefighters and organizations, like San Diego Gas & Electric, Exci, and BlackBerry AtHoc, to detect, monitor, and respond to wildfires more effectively. Organizations use drones, AI, and predictive modeling to inspect power lines and detect brush fires using cameras and satellite imagery. Through the power of cloud computing, AWS is enabling valuable insights to improve fire management strategies, ultimately aiding in the protection of lives, property, and the environment. Speaker: Rahul Sareen, global head of sustainability solutions and go to market, AWS.

Pauline Ting, data scientist, AWS

2. Workshop: Using Amazon SageMaker, AutoGluon, and ASDI to predict air quality

This workshop will investigate the relationship between air quality and weather using Amazon SageMaker Studio. Access open data from the Amazon Sustainability Data Initiative (ASDI) with Amazon S3 and an API to explore air quality by geography. Deploy a machine learning model that uses AutoGluon binary classification models to predict how weather features may result in unhealthy air quality. You must bring your laptop to participate. Speakers: Pauline Ting, AWS data scientist; and Charles Roberts (title unknown).

3. An AWS Sustainability Showcase: The showcase will feature custom chips such as AWS Inferentia and AWS Trainium, and examples of customers using artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and Internet of Things (IoT).

Ceren Tahtasiz, solutions architect, AWS

4. Lightening Talk: How climate tech startups use AWS to drive sustainable innovation

This talk to explore how startups use the cloud to address the challenges of climate change. Hear real-world stories of how climate tech unicorns have built solutions on AWS to further their missions. Did you know that 87% of global climate and AI leaders believe AI is a helpful tool in the fight against climate change? Leave this talk knowing more about AI for climate use cases and relevant programs to accelerate your journey. Be inspired by the potential of generative AI, IoT, analytics, and more to drive a sustainable future. Speaker: Ceren Tahtasiz.

5. Breakout: Using AI to power a circular economy for aerospace

Tom Metzeler, global solutions architect lead, Capgemini

In this session, learn about the Lifecycle Optimization for Aerospace platform, which was developed by Capgemini and built on the AWS Cloud. Artificial intelligence and machine learning (natural language processing) services were specifically developed and trained on data models, based on the ASD (Aerospace, Security and Defence Industries Association of Europe) standards. Explore how the platform consolidates historical operation data and provides clarity on the traceability of all the constituent parts of an aircraft. Learn about the AI framework that uses building blocks of generative AI for inspection automation improvements and aircraft parts’ defects identification. This presentation is brought to you by Capgemini, an AWS Partner. Speaker: Tom Metzeler, Capgemini

6. Chalk Talk - Measuring Sustainability Optimization of Cloud Workloads

Optimizing cloud workloads for sustainability starts with defining metrics or KPIs that can help organizations adopt best practices recommended by the AWS Well-Architected sustainability pillar. In this chalk talk, learn how to use AWS services and tools like the AWS Customer Carbon Footprint Tool, AWS Trusted Advisor, and AWS Cost and Usage Reports to define proxy metrics and combine with business metrics to establish a show-back mechanism to evaluate and quantify the effect of the optimizations. Speakers: Raman Pujani and Deepthi Madamanchi.

Sridhar Ayala, director, Adobe
Sridhar Ayala, director, Adobe
Jackson Wagstaff, business development, AWS
Jackson Wagstaff, business development, AWS

7. Breakout: Sustainable compute: Reducing costs and carbon emissions with AWS

Uncover the dual benefits of cost savings and sustainability with AWS compute. This session spotlights AWS compute services including AWS Graviton processors, Amazon EC2 Spot Instances, Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling, AWS Compute Optimizer, and Amazon EC2 Flex Instances, all geared toward optimizing resource use. Learn more about building sustainable and cost-efficient cloud operations that align with your business goals. Speakers: Robert McCone, Jackson Wagstaff, and Sridhar Ayala, Adobe.

Tamara Herbert, senior application development consultant, AWS
Thomas Attree
Thomas Attree, senior solutions architect, AWS

8. Workshop: Renewable energy assets in the smart home: Managing demand flexibility

In this workshop, learn how to manage demand flexibility for residential properties equipped with interconnected renewable energy assets using a digital twin, which includes an electric vehicle, solar panels, a heat pump, and battery storage. Develop strategies for efficiently managing a surge in energy production by utilizing renewable energy resources to their fullest extent while ensuring grid stability and reducing the need for grid-supplied energy. Learn how to integrate AWS services with a digital twin, explore strategies for optimizing renewable energy utilization, and understand the demand-side response in the context of variable renewable energy generation. You must bring your laptop to participate. Speakers: Thomas Attree and Tamara Herbert.

Andrew Givens
Andrew Givens, senior partner solutions architect, IoT, AWS

9. Workshop: Detecting EV battery anomalies across a fleet using AWS IoT

As vehicle fleets electrify, the ability to detect electric vehicle (EV) battery anomalies early becomes critical. In this workshop, get hands-on experience using AWS IoT Core to manage the provisioning certification for a fleet of vehicles. Work through vehicle modeling, campaign creation, and data ingestion using AWS IoT FleetWise, and then set up a dashboard to view insights. You must bring your laptop to participate. Speakers: Aditi Gupta and Andrew Givens.

10. Workshop - Sustainability - Measure, optimize and improve costs:

Building a sustainable business for your organization and the world we share is top of mind for nearly every organization. Join this workshop to delve into practical strategies for constructing and measuring sustainability key performance indicators (KPIs) while implementing sustainable serverless architectures on the AWS Cloud. Discover how to make sustainable decisions using powerful tools like AWS Graviton, Amazon CodeGuru Profiler, AWS Lambda Power Tuning, Amazon API Gateway, and AWS X-Ray, and uncover the symbiotic relationship between sustainability and overall efficiency. You must bring your laptop to participate. Speakers: Jang Whan Han and Miranda Li.

Amazon Data Scientist Wafae Bakkali and AWS Senior Solutions Architect Isha Dua

11. Lightening Talk - Optimizing generative AI workloads for sustainability

With the increasing complexity, scale, and adoption of AI workloads, it is important to consider their environmental impact. This lightning talk provides environmental sustainability insights that are specific to large language models and how machine learning operations (MLOps) is critical to sustainable optimization. Explore practical best practices for different customization scenarios including training models from scratch, fine-tuning with additional data using full or parameter-efficient techniques, Retrieval Augmented Generation, and prompt engineering. Speakers: Isha Dua and Wafae Bakkali

12. Workshop - Continuous cost and sustainability optimization

Irina Radu
Irina Radu, prototyping engagement manager, AWS

In this workshop, learn best practices for cost and sustainability optimization. Shift costs and sustainability responsibilities from the Cloud Center of Excellence (CCoE) to end users and application owners aided by automation and monitoring at scale. Explore how to use AWS services designed to optimize your infrastructure and your workloads with the aid of AI/ML algorithms to detect anomalies. Building upon real-world use cases, learn about cost efficiency implementing mechanisms that empower application owners to have clear, actionable tasks for cost and sustainability optimization. You must bring your laptop to participate. Speakers: Enrico Bonaccorsi and Francesc Sala.

Juha Matti Kuusinen, head of digital innovation, KONE
Jason Mortensen
Jason Mortensen, world wide lead, working backwards engagements, AWS

13. Breakout - Driving efficiency and sustainability with AWS innovation mechanisms

Globally, more priority is being given to sustainability efforts at the C-suite level. Successful sustainability programs do not just reduce an organization’s carbon footprint but also affect bottom-line costs to the business. In this session, hear how an organization utilized AWS mechanisms and services like the PRFAQ and prototyping center to drive operational efficiency and support sustainability efforts. Learn how they used IoT TwinMaker to optimize manufacturing processes and provide employees with real-time visibility into utilization, traffic, and equipment status. Speakers: Irina Radu, Jason Mortensen, Juha-Matti Kuusinen at KONE.

Sam Bydlon
Sam Bydlon, senior solutions architect, global impact compute, AWS
Vince Smith
Vince Smith, head of digital, data and informatics, Natural History Museum

14. Breakout - Building next-generation sustainability workloads with open data

Future sustainability digital technologies will be driven by data, but limited access to and significant costs of acquiring sustainability datasets present a barrier to aspiring builders. Programs like Open Data on AWS provide free, publicly available datasets, accelerating sustainability innovation. In this session, find out how AWS customers are using open data and AWS’s broad range of compute, AI/ML, and database services to build sustainability workloads in the cloud. Learn about the Natural History Museum Planetary Knowledge Base, a mission-driven research tool for understanding and addressing global biodiversity change, that was built with open data using AWS Glue, Amazon Neptune, and Amazon Neptune ML. Speakers: Vince Smith, Natural History Museum; and Sam Bydlon.

Rickard Wieselfors, VP, head of Ericsson Automation and AI
Johan-Sporre -Lennberg
Johan Sporre Lennberg, VP, cloud services, Ericsson

15. Breakout - Optimize SAP-based supply chains and improve sustainability with AI/ML

Organizations in manufacturing and other industrial verticals need to position themselves to thrive despite supply chain volatility, while reducing the cost and carbon footprint of their operations. For many of these companies, SAP systems are their business process backbones. In this session, a leading telecommunications provider demonstrates how they use AWS AI/ML services including Amazon SageMaker Studio and Amazon SageMaker Data Wrangler in concert with SAP to reduce costs and energy consumption while improving demand planning accuracy. Speakers: Johan Sporre Lennberg, Ericsson; Joe Currid; and Rickard Wieselfors, Ericsson.

16. Lightening Talk: Building your green future today: Unlocking secrets to sustainability (sponsored by HCLTech)

As environmental concerns increase and compliance regulations become a mandate, sustainability is now a business imperative. This shift stems from the urgent need to mitigate carbon footprints and foster eco-conscious operations. Learn about the pivotal role of technology and HCLTech’s solution suite, which includes consulting and implementation capabilities for helping with the realization of ambitious sustainability goals across net-zero emissions transformation and sustainable operations, sustainable products, sustainable IT, and sustainable finance. This presentation is brought to you by HCLTech, an AWS Partner. Speakers: Prabhakar Appana, HCLTech; and Sukant Acharya, HCLTech.

Marcin Bednarz, principal solutions architect, AWS
Chad Schmutzer
Chad Schmutzer, principal solutions architect, sustainability, Gravitron, AWS

17. Workshop - Reduce costs and improve sustainability with AWS Graviton

AWS Graviton based instances can provide up to 40% better price performance over comparable current-generation instances for a wide variety of workloads, including application servers, microservices, high-performance computing, electronic design automation, gaming, open-source databases, and in-memory caches. Graviton based instances also use up to 60% less energy for the same performance than comparable Amazon EC2 instances would. In this workshop, learn how you can use Graviton based instances with AWS managed services and EC2 infrastructure including Amazon EKS, Amazon ECS, multi-architecture CI/CD pipelines, .NET Core, Amazon RDS, Amazon EMR, and Amazon OpenSearch Service. You must bring your laptop to participate. Speakers: Chad Schmutzer and Marcin Bednarz.

18. Breakout | Sustainability innovation in AWS Global Infrastructure

AWS is determined to make the cloud the cleanest and most energy-efficient way to run customers’ infrastructure and business. This includes providing the efficient, resilient services AWS customers expect, while minimizing their environmental footprint. In this session, learn how AWS focuses on efficiency across all aspects of its infrastructure and is innovating to find new ways to lower its carbon footprint, as it aims to reach net-zero carbon by 2040. Find out about Amazon’s progress toward powering its operations with 100 percent renewable energy, AWS’s reverse logistics program, and AWS’s commitment to being water positive by 2030. Speaker: Abhishek Sharma

Mario Pilz
Mario Pilz, program manager, industrial IoT, Siemens Energy

19. Breakout | From factory to cloud: Enhancing operations & sustainability with IoT

In this session, dive into Siemens Energy’s journey to using digitalization to shape its next-generation smart factories. In collaboration with AWS ProServe, Siemens Energy integrated IoT edge devices across more than 80 factories into the cloud. Explore the tangible benefits of smart factories, from improved problem-solving to increased machine uptime, which can lead to cost advantages. Learn about concrete examples demonstrating the impact of data connectivity on factory operations and Siemens Energy’s dedication to sustainability. Speakers: Guillaume Allain, Jeff Bramlett, Mario Pilz, Siemens Energy.

Note: The session descriptions above are provided by Amazon. Track all Amazon sustainability strategy and partnership updates here. Blog originally posted November 20, 2023. Updated regularly thereafter.

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