Amazon Web Services (AWS) are helping to develop a global supply chain of hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO), a fuel which can result in as much as 90 per cent less greenhouse gas emissions over the its life cycle when compared with diesel.
Working with local organisations like Certa in Ireland, AWS said that it is investing in the procurement of HVO that only comes from renewable sources, with raw materials that are traceable to their origins and not derived from sources that would impact highly biodiverse areas.
HVO is a renewable, biodegradable, and non-toxic fuel that can be made from waste cooking oil, or vegetable, plant, and residue oils. HVO and other renewable diesels are proven to be more compatible with industrial machinery than biodiesel as they do not require any modification to the fuel systems and can remain stable even in the coldest winter temperatures. This versatility allows AWS to fill the tanks of its backup generators with HVO without any operational changes and use it across different regions and colder climates.
In January 2023, AWS started transitioning to HVO to power backup generators at its data centre sites in Europe, with sites in Ireland and Sweden among the first to make the switch. Backup generators are used at data centre sites to provide back up power in the very rare instances when the main source of power is interrupted.
“We are excited to be working with AWS to help drive their renewable energy transition through the supply of our HVO. At Certa, our mission is to connect our customers with the most progressive energy solutions available, and as a straight drop-in replacement for conventional diesel, our HVO Bio Fuel provides up to 90 per cent reduction in carbon emissions instantly, with no generator retrofitting required. We look forward to continuing the energy transition journey alongside AWS,” Andrew Graham, managing director of Certa Ireland, said.
“At AWS, we are committed to and invested in sustainability because it is a win all around – it is good for the planet, for business, for our customers, and for our communities,” said Neil Morris, director of infrastructure operations for Northern Europe at AWS.
“Transitioning to HVO is just one of the many ways we are improving the sustainability of our data centres, decarbonising our operations, and working towards Amazon’s company-wide goal to meet net-zero carbon by 2040, ten years ahead of the Paris Agreement. By making this commitment to using sustainably-sourced HVO at our data centres sites, we hope to pave the way for other businesses, and help establish a global supply chain that will accelerate change across Europe, working in collaboration with other organisations.”
In addition to transitioning to HVO, Amazon said it is investing in alternative fuel options to replace diesel and other fossil fuels to further decarbonise their operations. The company has recently signed an agreement with Plug Power to supply green hydrogen for transportation and building operations, starting in 2025, and are in the process of transforming their transportation network, including electrifying their delivery fleet.