Amazon has applied to the Australian government’s Clean Energy Regulator to prevent its 2017-18 data center emissions and energy data from being published.

Documents seen by ABC show that Amazon claim that revealing its emission data could amount to giving away a “trade secret” to its competitors.

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– Sebastian Moss

"Trade secrets"

Although the details of the document were redacted, the application called for the company’s emissions and energy consumption data to not be released as Amazon believes a trade secret and a “matter of commercial value” would be revealed.

The trade secret is a “corporate initiate” that includes a strategy on how to reduce energy usage and information, not a technology, Amazon claims.

More than 400 Australian businesses have made their emissions data available in the already published 2017-18 corporate emissions and energy data list. Amazon’s data is absent from this list, despite the company operating three availability zones in Sydney.

Publishing emissions and energy through the CER is mandatory for companies that produced at least 50 kilotonnes (50m kg) of greenhouse gases during the 2017-18 financial year.

IBM and NextDC produced around 49,800 and 184,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions in Australia in the period, respectively. Equinix, which operates 16 data centers in Australia, is not mentioned on the list.

NextDC offsets its emissions of its own operations, but not for the companies that it hosts on its servers.

The company’s M1 Melbourne facility was the first data center to receive a NABERS five star rating for environmental performance, out of a potential six. NABERS is an Australian rating system that measures the energy efficiency, greenhouse gas intensity and the overall impact that the nation's buildings have on the climate.

Greenpeace’s Clicking Clean Virginia report published earlier this year claimed that Amazon is breaking its commitment to power its data centers in the state with 100 percent renewable energy.

Amazon disputes the findings in the report, Greenpeace claims that only 12 percent of AWS’s energy consumption in Virginia comes from renewable sources.

DCD has reached out to Amazon AU for comment.