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Driving net-zero innovations with the cloud

Nurdianah Md Nur
Nurdianah Md Nur • 5 min read
Driving net-zero innovations with the cloud
During the AWS Asean Summit 2023, Maya Hari shares how Terrascope's decarbonisation platform is using AWS cloud services. Photo: AWS.
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Due to global warming, unprecedented heat waves, floods and droughts are becoming more common. To avert the worst impacts of climate change, global warming needs to be kept at 1.50°C, which calls for emissions to be reduced by 45% by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050.

Transitioning to net zero requires completely transforming how we produce, consume, and move about. Fortunately, some companies are developing innovations — supported by cloud platforms and apps — that could help us do so.

Razer’s carbon-neutral checkout solution

As consumers become conscious of their carbon footprint, more businesses are introducing carbon-neutral checkout solutions that enable customers to neutralise their emissions from their purchases. However, some organisations need help calculating current carbon footprints across product life cycles. Moreover, carbon credits are typically denominated in metric tons, each of which is not readily divisible. As a result, consumers and businesses may not have full visibility over how much carbon they have helped offset and if their contributions positively impact sustainability projects.

Recognising this, Razer — an American-Singaporean lifestyle brand for gamers — developed Restorify, a traceable carbon-neutral shopping cart. It aims to enhance accountability by issuing a carbon offset certificate with every purchase.

The certificate shows the total carbon emissions offset by the customer’s purchase, the type of project the credits supported, and in which country. It also includes the certification standard. All carbon-offset projects are audited and traceable to recognised registries such as Verra and Gold Standard.

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Restorify also offers a carbon footprint calculator integrated into all aspects of its online marketplace. Consumers will get an immediate, up-to-date carbon offset estimate based on their purchases at checkout.

Restorify was built by Razer and Amazon Web Services (AWS). Besides being deployed in AWS Cloud, Restorify leverages AWS Fargate as its serverless, pay-as-you-go compute engine. It also uses Amazon API Gateway to create, maintain, and secure its application programming interface (APIs) at scale and relies on Amazon EventBridge to build event-driven infrastructures for faster feature deployment. Thanks to these cloud services, Restorify can deliver near real-time data to targets quickly, securely, and at scale.

Restorify has facilitated over 100,000 transactions and helped offset purchases from more than 30 countries. Razer plans to offer Restorify to other businesses, allowing easy integration with existing e-commerce platforms. This will enable other organisations that do not otherwise have such capabilities to calculate the carbon footprint of their products and services.

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AWS will also help market Restorify to over 100,000 AWS Partners from across 150 countries via AWS Marketplace.

“Carbon offsetting has the potential to be one of the most effective interventions used to lower carbon emissions in the atmosphere. [However,] in our journey to net zero, we have realised that there are growing pains and that not all carbon credits are equal. With Restorify, we hope our novel approach towards carbon credits will foster greater accountability and transparency within carbon offsetting [ …which may also] empower consumers and businesses to take climate action more proactively,” says Min-Liang Tan, Razer’s co-founder and CEO.

Terrascope’s end-to-end decarbonisation platform

Singapore-headquartered Terrascope is another organisation that is helping enterprises decarbonise. It offers an enterprise-grade, end-to-end, smart carbon measurement and management software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform.

Speaking at the AWS Asean Summit 2023, Terrascope’s chief executive officer Maya Hari shares that one-fifth of companies today cannot measure emissions accurately due to the complexity of doing so. This includes measuring Scope 3 emissions resulting from an organisation’s upstream and downstream activities.

“The path to net-zero starts with knowing where to start and what to reduce to zero from. Businesses might be completely on the wrong path without precision and accuracy in measuring that first starting point. So, our platform focuses on helping companies precisely measure carbon footprint, including the complex Scope 3 emissions,” says Hari.

She continues: “We also help companies think about where to spend the next dollar of investment in decarbonising the operations or supply chain and where to spend precious operational time to decarbonise. We do all this with the power of data science and machine learning, tightly coupled with sustainability expertise that we bring to the table.”

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Terrascope built its platform with AWS’s cloud services to provide those capabilities. “Our platform uses AWS Fargate for efficient computing and AWS CloudFront to effectively distribute static and dynamic content. Most importantly, AWS Managed Orchestration Services allows us to set up data pipelines seamlessly and to make operations more seamless. This has been a big enabler of scale, which is vital as we’ve taken on the desire to help companies worldwide decarbonise,” adds Hari.

Terrascope also selected AWS as the sustainability visions of both companies are aligned. “[We wanted to ensure that] we don’t contribute to a higher carbon footprint through our platform as we help our customers decarbonise. This is why we partnered with AWS, which has pledged to power all its geographic regions with 100% renewable energy by 2025 and reach net zero by 2040,” says Hari.

Despite being publicly launched in June 2022, the Terrascope platform has measured 350 million metric tons of carbon emissions, equivalent to the carbon footprint of 75 million cars on the road. Hari is, therefore, optimistic that Terrascope will be able to help more companies globally measure their carbon footprint to build more credible pathways to net zero in the future.

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