Amazon Sustainability Data Initiative

The Amazon Sustainability Data Initiative (ASDI) helps researchers, scientists, and innovators around the world advance their work on sustainability-related research. The program provides publicly available, free access to important scientific data that can otherwise be hard for researchers to access or analyze. The program also supports innovators with cloud grants and technical expertise.

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Making Sustainability Data Available to Everyone

ASDI works with scientific organizations around the world to identify important datasets, which are then hosted for free by the AWS Open Data Sponsorship Program.

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The program currently hosts petabytes of data including weather observations, ocean temperatures, climate projection data, and satellite imagery. Our approach allows sustainability experts to analyze massive amounts of data in minutes, regardless of where they are in the world or how much local storage space or computing capacity they can access.

Data in Action

From university researchers to local governments and federal agencies to private startups, organizations leverage ASDI to help address major sustainability challenges.

Below are some of the ways ASDI is enabling critical sustainability research around the world.

Creating Solar Forecasts
Protecting Habitats
Optimizing Ocean Shipping
Creating a Place to Collaborate
Solcast is an Australian company that builds forecasts for solar industry customers using cloud cover, solar radiation, and photovoltaic (PV) power data. The forecasts help solar producers predict the amount of solar irradiance and the amount of solar PV energy that their farms may receive. Solcast’s forecasts rely on large datasets from a global fleet of weather satellites, including Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) data from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which Solcast accesses through ASDI.

The data helps solar customers orchestrate renewable energy generation across electrical grids, visualize the impact of thousands of PV systems, and optimize utility-scale batteries and solar farms. In addition, the data helps identify the best locations for solar farms, enabling governments around the world to plan their transition toward a 100% renewable energy future.
Digital Earth Africa is a nonprofit working with African nations to provide local leaders with information to plan for impacts related to climate change, like flooding, droughts, and erosion. Through a collaboration with ASDI, Digital Earth Africa is using satellite imagery hosted on AWS to create a platform that helps monitor environmental conditions in the African continent.

In Zanzibar, Tanzania, government officials and the State University of Zanzibar are using the Digital Earth Africa platform to monitor how coastal erosion, rising sea levels, and deforestation are contributing to the degradation of mangrove trees on the island. The data hosted on AWS, which local officials previously had no way to access, has helped leaders understand the need to restore their mangroves and led to an effort to plant 1,000 mangrove seeds per week.
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Optimizing Ocean Freight Shipping With nauticAi
nauticAi is a maritime startup company from Finland that offers ocean freight shipping companies a real-time cloud platform to help them operate their fleets more efficiently. The technology analyzes a variety of data, including weather forecasts, engine performance, humidity, and motion, which operators can use to improve ships’ performance and help vessels avoid damaging storms.

Weather data in particular can help shippers optimize their routes. Traditionally, these and other climate‐related datasets have resided around the world in large files and complex systems, making them hard to access without the aid of specialized computers. To solve this, nauticAi is leveraging weather forecast data through ASDI from NOAA and the Finnish Meteorological Institute. nauticAi’s technology also uses machine learning and artificial intelligence tools on AWS to further improve maritime operations.
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Creating a Place for Scientists to Collaborate With Qhub
The Earth Science Information Partners Lab, a scientific nonprofit, is working with ASDI to extend cloud credits to support the deployment of Qhub, a development space on the AWS Cloud that gives more than 90 scientists across four U.S. government agencies an area to share and analyze data.

This new space enables the U.S. federal government and the scientists to collaborate in ways that were previously difficult due to the lack of a shared computing infrastructure. The effort has helped accelerate research on everything from flooding to illegal mining, while helping the scientists learn the benefits of collaborative data and computing.
spotlight
Open data is helping researchers and nonprofit conservationists protect vulnerable species around the world. In celebration of Earth Day 2022, the AWS Fix This podcast shone a spotlight on two sustainability stories using open data—monitoring elephants in Northern Congo, and transforming shark conservation research.
Resources
For additional information about ASDI, contact us by email at sustainability-data-initiative@amazon.com.

Request AWS Promotional Credit

The AWS Promotional Credit Program supports experimentation and development for sustainability-related projects. Apply for Promotional Credit by completing the application online.

Tutorials and Tools

Check out the review tutorials and access open-source code.

Host Your Data on AWS

The AWS Open Data Sponsorship Program covers the cost of storage for publicly available, high-value, cloud-optimized datasets.

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