"We don't inherit the earth from our ancestors. We borrow it from our children. Let's work to leave the earth better than the way we found it."

After getting a sense of what sustainability is really about, beyond just the 3 Rs of Reduce, Reuse & Recycle, it’s getting more interesting as we dive into measuring the carbon footprint in data and analytics with Fawad Qureshi. Maybe more interesting for me as I love data haha…Afterall, we can’t track and improve what we can’t measure. That’s why data is so important, interesting and empowering!

Let’s start with 5 categories of carbon footprint in the Cloud which we can review and manage:

Managed by Data Centers

a. Energy Source Is your cloud service provider using a clean energy source
b. Overall Power Usage Reduction of energy wastage through effective cooling practices
c. Stand-by Power Choose hardware with greener idle footprint

Our System Design

d. Average Cloud Resource Utilization by our system
e. Cloud Resource Housekeeping during system idle time

"You cannot throw hardware (Autoscale) at a software problem"

Data Metrics

a. Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE): The closer to 1 the better Numerator: All energy used by data center
Denominator: Energy used by servers and computer hardware
b. Carbon Intensity Numerator: Amount of greenhouse gases emitted
Denominator: Unit of electricy produced
c. Etsy Cloud Jewels Energy Coefficients i.   2.1Wh per vCPUh
ii.  0.89 Wh/TBh per HDD storage
iii. 1.52 Wh/TBh per SSD storage

I’ve always heard about Telsa making money through selling carbon credits and wondered why do other companies want to pay Telsa so much for these credits. Today I learnt it’s because of the max carbon emissions cap imposed by EU, along with its Emission Trading System (ETS). As companies start to explore and incorporate sustainability into their Triple Bottom Line of People, Planet and Profit, how will this change with time?

In this course, Fawad Qureshi touched on using Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability ESG Data Model to build sustainability solutions to track carbon emissions, water and waste with the following 6 functionalities:

Data Ingestion Data connections
Organization Company structure & physical locations
Emission factors Emission libraries identifying amount of greenhouse gas released per unit of emission factor
Emission sources Enable tracking of energy purchased and fuel consumption
Emission calculations Use calculation profiles to calculate the emissions
Reporting Analyze and identify trends to track carbon emissions vs reduction goals

Additionally, ESG Value Chain solution enables the collection & calculation of scope 3 emissions which accounts for > 80% of each company’s carbon emissions. Data can be requested from your suppliers either via the Value Chain Data Hub in Microsoft Sustainability Manager or websites built via Power Pages Portal Template.

"ESG research has indicated that the generation of long-term sustainable returns is dependent on stable, well-functioning, and well-governed social, environmental, and economic systems."