Case Study


Reducing global methane emissions

Global climate advocacy organization (company confidential)

A global non-profit climate advocacy organization partnered with a marketing and strategy firm and SDG to transform their complex methane emissions calculation tool into a sophisticated, easy to use, and scalable cloud-based web app.


Complexity of the solution
Geopolitical nuances
Deep industry data
Diverse policy content sources
Globally distributed stakeholders

SDG Solutions

Product mindset
Product leadership
AWS Cloud Architecture
Software engineering

Using data to develop effective global climate policy

Our customer is a world leading climate advocacy organization working to advance technology and policy changes needed to achieve a zero-emissions, high-energy planet at an affordable cost. Methane emissions are 80x more damaging than carbon dioxide and reducing them is critical for our planet to stay within the 1.5 degree warming threshold. The organization works with governments, industry leaders, and other NGO’s across the globe to affect deep, global reductions in methane emissions to protect against the risk of irreversible changes to our climate.

To that end, they developed a Methane abatement tool, which allows countries to record and continually refine their emissions estimations based on the best available information about a country’s oil and gas industry. By using the emissions and inventory calculations in the tool, countries can explore variables and specific policy options that can result in pollution reduction. While the original spreadsheet-based solution was impressive, it was inherently complex, and not easy to use, maintain or scale simultaneously across multiple country engagements. A longer-term, more user-friendly solution was necessary and the customer engaged with their marketing partner and SDG to build it.

An ambitious vision

As a strategic partner to the organization, the marketing firm conceived a winning product strategy to transform the existing tool from a heavily manual process into a powerful web- and cloud-based software application. Turning this vision into reality required deep technical knowledge, so they engaged SDG to form a strong product development team. Together with the customer’s policy and industry experts, the team developed a state-of-the-art user experience, and an innovative, data-driven approach for the new solution, transforming it into a dynamic, adaptable and accessible platform.

SDG and the marketing and strategy firm worked to deliver a scalable product strategy and design a technical architecture using a combination of third-party tools and custom software. As part of the design and system development work, and after comprehensive review of various platforms, the team’s architects and designers agreed that an AWS-based solution would provide the combination of scalability, user experience and performance required for the new application and its mission-critical purpose.

A scalable solution

The new application runs on an AWS cloud-based, 3-tier, service-based architecture that was tailored to the needs of the organization’s globally distributed staff and user base. The user experience layer comprises web pages, forms, data visualizations, and content repositories custom-designed by the product team and delivered through a CMS and other integrated front-end tools running on Amazon Web Service (AWS).

While this organization has a global impact, they have a limited IT infrastructure capability and staff, and the cost of building and managing an on-prem solution and data center would prove untenable. With the AWS technology that the team and SDG implemented, the application can run on a serverless architecture that scales automatically to handle load from users across the world. Because of this architecture, the customer’s limited IT staff can offload management of the system to the cloud, while their analysts, researchers, and policy advisors can confidently collaborate with various country stakeholders using a powerful, modern web application.

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Tackling climate change with AWS

In 2023 the pilot of the new application was launched in their AWS environment, and team members have begun to import climate and policy data into the new system. The new application will accelerate the ability to forecast and establish abatement targets and recommend mitigation plans and policy changes for countries using the platform – which in turn will result in targeted impact and reduced methane emissions from the oil and gas industry across the globe.

The modernized version of the tool has allowed them to expand their engagement and influence. With their modernized application up and running, this customer is now poised to work with more countries and institutions, develop more comprehensive policy solutions, and accelerate their efforts to decarbonize the global energy system.