Amazon AWS: WeTransfer cut server emissions by 78 percent in 2022

Jul 31, 2023 | Posted by MadalineDunn

WeTransfer has said it cut its server emissions by 78 per cent in 2022. This comes following the company's 2020 pledge to reduce its emissions by 30 percent by 2025, and its migration to AWS in 2011. 

The company reportedly achieved "carbon-neutral certification," after using AWS' Customer Carbon Footprint Tool to track, measure and forecast its carbon emissions. However, it found that in 2021, data servers accounted for as much as 91% of its total carbon footprint.  

WeTransfer, as a global content distribution platform, serves tens of millions of active monthly users, 80 million to be exact. All these users share and collaborate on creative work spanning across 190 countries. 

Lina Ruiz, director of social responsibility for WeTransfer, said that people don't realize that "everything they do" uses energy. "From a video conference to sending an email or seeing an ad - and that energy results in CO2 emissions."

"A mobile-first world makes these things even more urgent because everybody is using data centers for everything. Even though invisible to the naked eye, optimizing those services now will have a positive impact on future emissions," she added. 

To tackle emissions from servers, the company developed an energy optimization strategy leveraging Amazon EC2 Auto-scaling for "a more flexible approach" to compute capacity.

"It ensures we're not holding more compute time and server capacity than we actually need, so that it can be used for other workloads, which lowers environmental impact. However, when we do have spikes, we can scale up to meet them effectively," said WeTransfer's CTO, Dan Conti.

This is what reportedly led to the 78% reduction in server emissions in 2022.