Watch this short excerpt from Bernard’s discussion with AWS CEO Andy Jassy (centre) on reinventing energy, overseen by Daniel Yergin, vice chairman of IHS Markit (left)
In a world in transition, technology and energy have more in common than you might think, as became clear from this conversation, which included big data, customer power, working in partnership, the journey to net zero and the need for reinvention.
Bernard talked about how bp sees the energy transition as a massive opportunity, saying: “Society, as well as our employees, wants us to change. It needs us to change. To be successful in the long run, you can’t go against the grain of society.”
Andy said companies can’t defy gravity. “If something is going to happen, whether it’s good for you or not, if it’s good for customers, it is going to happen.”
“It will take more than one company,” Andy added. “To fix the environment the way we all want is going to take all of us working and innovating together to get to that goal. It can’t be one country, one company or one sector. And we’re excited to work with bp to help.”
He continued: “I think if you can look in the energy space, I don’t meet companies or individuals who wish they couldn’t snap their fingers and just only use renewable energy. But the reality is there just isn’t enough renewable energy yet to fuel all of the energy that people need. And so it’s going to take a lot of investment and a lot of energy. And we’d rather be part of the solution in helping.”
Bernard said: “As we look to the future, people say: ‘How do we get to net zero?’ Which is really like asking ‘How do we reinvent the world to get to net zero?’
It may sound a surprising thing to say, but one of the most urgent things that the world can do to address global warming is to back oil and gas producers that are committed to getting to net zero – we call them greening companies. What Andy is doing is backing bp in that process. And that’s how we’re going to get to net zero, by having partnerships like this, which harness the capabilities of us all.”
bp is supplying renewable energy to Amazon in Europe to help power its data centres. And AWS is providing bp with data and cloud services that are transforming digital operations. In 2019, AWS started helping bp to move some of its own mega data centres – which hold 900 mission-critical applications – to the cloud. According to Andy, “running infrastructure in the cloud is much more energy-efficient than running on premises, but it also frees up resources to work on renewable initiatives.”
On Amazon’s commitment to renewable energy, he said: “Last year, we were the leading consumer of renewable energy in the world for a company. And I think we broke the record by about 50% more than the prior record for a year’s consumption. We expect to continue to buy a very large amount of renewable energy. And we are on pace to beat our goal of being 100% renewable in our data centres across all our facilities by 2025 instead of 2030.”
Customers are the driving force behind the move to cleaner energy and bp is becoming more customer-focused – a shift Amazon is helping to inspire.
Andy said: “Everything we do starts with what we think customers want and need – and all the strategy and tactics fall backwards from there.
“Inside Amazon, you don’t get equity by who you know, or what your title is, or what your level is. You get equity and credibility inside Amazon if you understand what customers want and you’re advocating on their behalf.”
“Amazon have engrained customers in their DNA,” said Bernard. “They live and breathe it – and they are one of the world’s most successful companies off the back of that. That’s what we want to build into our company. Our focus is on how we meet our customers’ needs more than we have been in the past, when the focus had been on the production of resources. Another example of where we can help each other.”
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