Amazon AWS: AWS partners with concrete company to develop a more sustainable concrete mix for its data centers

Oct 14, 2022 | Posted by MadalineDunn

AWS has announced a new collaboration project with American Rock Products (ARP), a concrete company, to develop a concrete mix for data centers that is more sustainable. Labeled the most destructive material on earth, concrete is fundamentally unsustainable and a significant contributor to climate change, responsible for 4-8% of the world's CO2 emissions. 

Due to its affordability and resiliency, concrete has been a go-to material for construction for decades and is one of the world's most consumed materials, but it is an incredibly environmentally unsound option. Partnering with ARP, AWS examined just how harmful it can be and identified areas where there were no sustainable concrete options, which included the Washington/Oregon area, and developed concrete mixes which lowered the concrete CO2 footprint by 23% (approximately 600 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent).

This concrete mix with lower CO2 emissions aligns with AWS' design standards for new US data centers, which require low-carbon concrete, with at least 20 percent less embodied carbon. 

"We are very appreciative of the continued collaboration around sustainability with the AWS team," said Mike McBreen, vice president of ARP. "The work is by no means complete, as regular meetings with AWS procurement and engineering are ongoing to continue to identify opportunities for further reductions in carbon emissions in the concrete we supply for future data centers."

Yash Issur, head of AWS portfolio procurement and risks, added: "At AWS, we are committed to building a sustainable business for our customers and the planet. Working with American Rock Products on this project is one important way we are working to fulfill our commitment to sustainability. Plus, we believe this project will increase awareness of lower carbon concrete in the market, opening up new opportunities to build infrastructure more sustainably."