AWS doubles down on sustainability efforts with mining data platform, Climate Pledge

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AWS doubles down on sustainability efforts with mining data platform, Climate Pledge
Rianne van Veldhuizen (AWS).

Amazon Web Services has reaffirmed its plans to become a more sustainable company with a new data platform for Australian mining companies and its recent additions to its Climate Pledge.

Speaking at AWS Summit in Sydney this week, AWS ANZ managing director Rianne van Veldhuizen said the company and its customers have taken big steps towards becoming a sustainable company and is encouraging partners and the AWS community as a whole to do the same.

AWS announced it is working with a group of Australian mining and mining services companies, the Electric Mine Consortium (EMC) to develop a mining data platform.

The platform aims to accelerate the electrification of mine sites globally, to help companies cut operational costs, develop more innovative mine designs and improve resilience. Mine electrification involves replacing fossil fuel-powered equipment to electric-powered ones, with the aim of reducing exposure to carcinogenic particulates, as well as scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions.

“Together, we are collaborating to create the world’s first mining data platform that catches research from major mining companies to develop mines that are safe for both the miners and the environment,” van Veldhuizen said.

“We do realise that that is a huge challenge, but one that is well-suited to the power of the cloud.”

Also discussed was AWS’ customer carbon footprint tool, which was announced in March, where customers can calculate the environmental impact of their AWS workloads with the new customer carbon footprint tool. The tool is part of the vendor's Climate Pledge, which it co-founded in 2019.

The tool uses data visualisations to provide customers with their historical carbon emissions, evaluate emission trends as their use of AWS evolves, approximate the estimated carbon emissions they have avoided by using AWS instead of an on-premises data centre, and review forecasted emissions based on current use.

AWS' local boss also said two of Amazon Australia’s three renewable energy projects across the country are now operational, specifically its solar farms in Gunnedah and Suntop in New South Wales. The third project is a wind farm in Hawksdale, Victoria.

Mining data platform

AWS said EMC’s platform will use its machine learning, business intelligence and storage offerings to capture real-time information on mine decarbonisation from sites globally.

Mining companies can use the platform to measure energy storage levels and electrical infrastructure use from global mine sites to accelerate the creation of a cleaner, more electrified future in mining.

In an announcement, EMC co-founder Graeme Stanway said, “The way we generate, store and harness energy around the globe is changing drastically.”

“EMC’s collaboration with AWS will help see us at the forefront of this change, driving the mining industry’s electrification at scale.”

Stanway added the platform would help firms comply with tightening government emission reduction targets, increasing environmental, social, and governance (ESG) pressure, as well as reducing its greenhouse gas emissions.

“Like the electric vehicle industry, electric mines are the future,” he said. “Not only can they be safer through the eradication of diesel particulates, pollution, noise, and vibrations, they can also be more targeted, precise, and effective when it comes to mining, and yield stronger results than traditional mines with minimal ground disturbance.”

AWS head of mining and energy for Australia Sarah Bassett said, “Data capture and analysis is essential to mining operations, and AWS is helping consortium members to share their critical datasets and collective insights to drive the digitisation and evolution of the industry.”

“I am excited to be collaborating with the EMC and its consortium members to improve the design of mines globally and accelerate the industry’s journey to decarbonisation on the global scale.”

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