Today, Platform.sh is proud to announce the completion of their carbon audit with Greenly. This marks a huge step in significantly improving carbon emission for our customers, reducing their digital carbon footprint and supporting our joined efforts towards Net Zero!
Platform.sh is a unified secure cloud platform that meets the requirements of large enterprises' IT teams to create, improve, host, run and scale fleets of websites and applications. Platform.sh is a French company, with an international presence, founded in Paris in 2015 by Fred Plais, Ori Pekelman and Damien Tournoud.
Today, we are proud to announce that we have just finalized a complete audit with Greenly on how Platform.sh can significantly improve carbon emission for our customers, reducing their digital carbon footprint and supporting our joined efforts towards Net Zero!
We now have more than 300 staff members around the world. Our head offices are in Paris (France) and San Francisco (USA). We're present in Europe, the USA and Asia, and have global partnerships with AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Orange and OVHcloud . Our international presence means we can deploy apps as close to our users as possible and in the regions with the lowest carbon intensity.
We are proud to work with high profile clients around the world such as Adobe, The Financial Times, Gap, Unity3D, Orange, Hachette and the British Council.
We've been awarded a grant by the European Commission's H2020 programme, were recently named one of Numeum's Top 250 for international growth, and have been featuring in the French Tech 120 for the last 3 years. We are also an active member of Gaia-X.
For a long time, we've been pledging to our commitment to reducing environmental impact while enabling our clients to significantly boost their productivity. Innovation is key. Our continuous deployment solution allows teams responsible for websites (e-commerce, media and high-traffic apps) to focus on developing and improving their apps. This means they can concentrate on the experience they want to offer instead of worrying about infrastructure issues (scalability, continuous deployment, maintenance, security, 24-hour monitoring, etc.).
Last year, we signed the Climate Act: a good example of this approach and the concrete steps we're taking.
Our teams have developed a highly innovative contained cloud platform that operates on a level above cloud providers with an unprecedented level of density, while scaling automatically to cope with high loads. As a consequence, we require an average 12x less computing resources, and consume 10x less energy, for the same performance.
Moreover, as a multi-cloud solution, we enable clients to deploy their apps in different regions—those with the lowest carbon intensity—which can also reduce up to 10x the carbon footprint of the same workload.
It's also important to highlight the fact that our solution is a "business" solution, which means that it is particularly well suited to address IT governance issues (security, data localization guarantees, compliance with the IT rules in place with our customers). This means we can consistently manage big web app fleets from lifecycle management to development team collaboration and their overall environmental footprint.
"We've decided to commit to fighting climate change, and to reduce CO2 emissions. To do this, we've decided to act, and act quickly. We believe we provide instant long-term benefits to our customers, drastically reducing their digital carbon footprint. We're continuing to work closely with our clients, partners and ecosystem to consolidate our approach and reassert our deep commitment to the environment"
The environment is a big priority for Platform.sh, which is one reason why we've always had a policy of 100% remote working for all staff. You could see the environmental impact immediately:
● There was almost no commuting.
● All internal documents were managed digitally.
● Innovative PaaS and SaaS solutions replaced on-site services.
● Asynchronous communication methods were introduced, with minimal use of energy and bandwidth.
As we've explained, we care about the environment, climate change is real and the ICT sector is responsible for 2% of global carbon emissions. This is why we play an active role in various initiatives. We renewed our commitment by signing the Climate Act in 2021. We then decided to carry out a complete carbon audit for 2020, which is what we've just done with Greenly.
We're also involved in the European Gaia-X project and other consortiums supporting green cloud and sovereign cloud initiatives.
This desire to change things has also led to new technical developments. Our approach centres on a key question: how can we help our clients reduce their carbon footprint?
It's also important to highlight that machines, CPUs, memory and disks all represent costs rather than profit. So, if we can help our clients use fewer resources, they can be given more attractive pricing.
The challenge for us and our ecosystem was measuring our exact impact.There were different important reasons for this:
● Focusing our R&D efforts by creating a special strategic team
Now we're thinking about various strategic issues: is it better to invest in the edge? Or in supporting new cloud providers? How do we optimize storage? Or make the container grid higher-density?
● Proactively advising our clients
Although many are aware of what's at stake, they need support when it's time to act. This is why being able to give them facts and numbers leads to an approach that can be put into action quickly. For example, we helped clients simply relocate an app from Ireland to France, where the carbon intensity is 10 times lower.
When we contacted Greenly, we had three goals which had to reflect the initiatives we're involved in:
● To create a robust model for our overall greenhouse gas emissions (including all our activities). The model had to be detailed enough to include a specific load.
● To guide our technological decisions, including those concerning infrastructure, so we could focus on research and initiatives that would allow us to offer our clients big reductions – in the short term.
● To support our clients by providing facts and numbers to help them make the best decisions taking environmental impact into account. This includes carbon data, of course, but also other application metrics.
We also decided to work with Greenly because of its expertise, and the fact that they wanted to jointly increase knowledge about all the technical aspects. The truth is that assessing the environmental impact of digital technology and its infrastructure causes lots of scientific and practical issues…. But, from the first meeting, we were impressed by the depth of analysis Greenly was offering.
We wanted to work with a company that wasn't too big: an agile and responsive start-up that could take on an ambitious project like ours. Greenly's teams had already worked with various players in the cloud sector, which we saw as important.
We were also looking for transparency and honesty. We wanted to get a 360-degree overview by working with Greenly. The discussions in this area don't always involve clear numbers and aren't always fact-checked. For transparency and honesty reasons, it was important for us to work with a team that would become a real partner. The collaboration has only just begun!
While the audit gave us a much clearer picture of our emissions, we knew from the start that the majority of our carbon footprint would be generated by our operations.
That's why we asked Greenly to focus on this area and report on our carbon footprint across all the apps hosted by Platform.sh, representing the total cloud emissions from all clients.
These were the results:
● An overall footprint of 3.6 kt CO2 (with operations) This is spread between transfer and network (78%), calculation (17.8%) and storage (4.2%). While the overall footprint is a good indicator, we focused on detailed analysis of actual resource use by each cloud provider. We took account of factors like the type of processor used (where known), PUE (data center efficiency) and the carbon intensity of a region's electrical grid.
● Our 94 t CO2 footprint
To be thorough, we also analyzed all the emissions unrelated to producing our services. Platform.sh has a 94 t CO2 footprint in this area. Our emissions are mainly generated by business travel (45.2%), closely followed by IT equipment (44.6%). The rest come from our offices (10.3%).
In other words, our carbon footprint is about 312 kg of CO2 per team member. This is still relatively low compared to the average of 50 tonnes of CO2 per employee per year in the French service sector and 100 tonnes in the US.
● The efficiency of our infrastructure on our dedicated and triply redesigned hosting offer allows a reduction of the carbon footprint of 5x
Platform.sh needs fewer and smaller servers to cope with the same load (same code, same traffic, same response times and often improved SLAs for our customers).
Our approach consists in rightsizing the infrastructure from the start then scale responsibly to meet demand over the classic overprovisioning approach.
● The container grid runs 12x more applications than single tenant deployment solutions
The audit was able to verify that our container grid requires 12x less computing resources to run the same workloads, cutting on those resources' production footprint, but also optimizing their energy consumption by 10x.
● Relocating apps to greener regions reduces carbon footprint up to 10x
Different regions still have very different local energy mixes (carbon intensity by region), which also change over time and the seasons. As a multi-cloud provider, Platform.sh can choose data centers that are nearer the end user and use energy with a lower carbon intensity.
● Optimizing code performance decreases consumption of underlying resources, with the carbon footprint up to 20 times lower
Thanks to profiling incorporated into the product with the Blackfire Observability suite, Platform.sh can help clients optimize their code to use fewer resources and reduce their carbon footprint.
Thanks to the audit, we can now for example suggest one of our clients reallocates its European load (from Ireland to France and Sweden), generating an eightfold reduction in emissions.
Contactez-nous si vous avez des questions ou si vous souhaitez prendre vous-même le chemin de la neutralité carbone avec Greenly