Aiven Sustainability and Social Impact Commitment

5 min readAug 1, 2022

Aiven has always been an outspoken proponent of open cloud infrastructure. We have built our platform to be open and accessible, straightforward and easy to use, flexible and universal — an offering that embodies the values that are close to our heart, values that we have consistently promoted as we have grown in the past few years. And as the Aiven platform is based on open source software, it is also important for us to contribute and give back to the communities that we depend on.

Our mission is to make developers’ lives better, and let them build what matters most. For us, developer experience is not an afterthought. It’s an integral part of who we are and what we value.

“We started Aiven to build something we would have loved to use ourselves. We wanted to make a service that allows developers to worry less and get more stuff done.” — Oskari Saarenmaa, CEO

Efficient storage and movement of data is crucial for modern life. Without data, websites would be empty and apps would not exist. Progress would grind to a halt. This makes access to and control of data an issue of equality and equity. The data technologies on the Aiven platform are universally applicable and open by default, but still not accessible for everyone, as using them requires a specific set of skills and resources. Aiven wants to lower the threshold for people to use these technologies to build the applications of tomorrow — and to do this as sustainably as possible.

This statement outlines our vision of the sustainable open source data cloud we want to advocate for that powers our digital ecosystem.

1. Clean and efficient data infrastructure

We are witnessing unprecedented climate change, where cloud services have the potential to be both a part of the problem and a part of the solution.

Cloud energy consumption is increasing as applications become more and more data-intensive. However, cloud platforms are by default more energy efficient than private data centers, and a meaningful part of cloud consumption goes into replacing these less efficient methods. Despite great improvements in decarbonisation by hyperscalers and other key stakeholders, there is more we can do to make energy consumption in the technology sector more environmentally sound. This involves both changing the energy mix and controlling the overall consumption of energy.

Our goal is to map our own environmental footprint, give our customers visibility into their energy mix and their emissions related to their use of Aiven services, and eventually provide them with means to decrease their environmental footprint.

2. Democratized access to technologies

We believe that great things come from more people having access to technology.

We have built a business that has open source software at its heart. The very nature of open source is to have the software available for anyone to use and collaboratively develop.

In reality, a collaborative approach does not always materialize in an ideal way. Many vital pieces of software start as small ventures by individual developers, and later snowball into substantial projects. Companies begin to rely on them, but often either don’t contribute back to them, or start to restrict access.

“If we want open source projects to stay around, any company using open source projects should dedicate some substantial time contributing back to them.” — Josep Prat, Open Source Engineering Manager

We are committed to the core open source values and do our best to promote the health of the communities around the open source projects that are near and dear to us.

While building our platform, we have learned the hard way that building applications with best-of-breed technologies is not a trivial undertaking. We have benefited from the support of others, from learning to code as part of different open source communities to being able to scale our business early on with the help of programs like DigitalOcean Hatch and AWS Activate.

Now it’s our time to give back and contribute to the development of the future — not just in terms of supporting startups, but by enabling an even wider range of people with impactful ideas to turn them into reality with the help of the open source cloud.

Our goal is to lower the barriers of access to new technologies and new ways of utilizing data, so that more people can contribute to the development of our society and economy.

3. Diversity and inclusion in tech

It is no secret that the tech industry has struggled to build diverse and inclusive workplaces. The industry has the opportunity to do better, and so do we. At Aiven, we have a journey ahead of us, and we are committed to taking that journey towards being a more diverse and inclusive company. In addition, it is our responsibility to create excitement for tech as early as possible.

We believe in open source because we think that companies have a responsibility to contribute to the tech they design and use. We want our culture to reflect the same thinking: it is our responsibility to make Aiven accessible and open to everyone.

We are committed to making sure that candidates from underrepresented groups find us and we find them, and we will do our utmost to remove roadblocks to inclusion to retain more diverse talent. For Aiven, this commitment means building a community where people can be their authentic selves, thrive based on capability, and work in a safe environment.

Diversity of thought is what creates growth. Without inclusion, the power of diversity remains untapped. We want Aiven to be a place of openness, ownership, and courage for all.

As a company, our vision at Aiven is to empower everyone with the best data technology. We want to enable both the internal and the larger Aiven community to build what matters using a more sustainable open source cloud. We want to play a part in building a world where technology is developed by everyone, for everyone, with the good of the people and our environment in mind.

We have already taken concrete steps towards this vision in the past years, but we’re still at the beginning of our journey. Like many things at a high-growth company, this, too, is an iterative process. From now on, we will be providing our community with monthly progress updates on our sustainability and social impact program. To stay in the loop, please subscribe to our newsletter.

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