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The Latest Google Cloud Tools Enabling Sustainability

What do consumers, company stakeholders, investors, employees, and policymakers have in common? They’re all focused more than ever on the sustainability endeavors of the companies they support, work for, and invest in.

The Latest Google Cloud Tools Enabling Sustainability

Just 30 years shy of experiencing what experts predict are the worst effects of climate change, it’s common knowledge that sustainability is at the top of almost every company’s list of goals. More than just paying lip service to these initiatives, companies will require data, results, and meaningful projects to move the needle.

In a global survey of 3,000 CEOs from more than 40 countries and 28 industries conducted by the IBM Institute for Business Value, 51% of CEOs indicated that sustainability was a top priority. That’s a marked increase from 2021 when only 32% of respondents indicated as much. 

If You’ve Been Waiting for the Right Time, This Is It.

With the heat on — both literally and figuratively — from investors, boards, consumers, and employees, companies are finding it critical to act now. Fortunately, business transformation is at an all-time high as a result of the pandemic, which means many companies find they can kill two birds with one stone in the cloud. Not only does migrating to the cloud fuel digital transformation, but it’s also considerably greener than many on-premises infrastructure options, thereby helping enterprises move toward decarbonization as quickly as possible. 

Google Cloud, in particular, has focused not only on assisting companies with their digital transformations but has rolled out new tools and data to help companies make a meaningful impact. In this article, we’ll look at the latest Google Cloud tools that can help companies remain on the right track with their sustainability goals.

The Carbon Sense Suite: Google Cloud Tools That Help Organizations Reduce Their Carbon Footprint

An excellent first step in reducing carbon emissions is simply choosing to run on Google Cloud. Since 2017, Google Cloud has matched its data centers’ energy use with 100% renewable energy and is committed to becoming completely carbon-free by 2030.

From there, the next important step is finding out how to optimize your use of the cloud. Luckily, Google’s enhancing its tools to assist. In February 2022, Google announced it was bringing all its various sustainability reporting tools available through its cloud services under one umbrella dubbed the Carbon Sense Suite

These innovative tools provide new ways of assessing data and actionable insights that can keep organizations on track, each one solving a unique problem for enterprises. Here’s a look at three of the key components of the Carbon Sense Suite and information on what the tools deliver to business leaders who need to make informed decisions about their carbon emissions.

  1. Carbon Footprint

For companies looking to assess carbon emissions related to their use of Google Cloud, carbon footprint can accurately measure that footprint, track emissions by cloud project, and share detailed methodology and reporting with users. 

Among its advantages, Carbon Footprint allows customers to measure and monitor their gross cloud emissions over time by project, product, and region. This information has provided eye-opening insights and enabled many customers to improve their carbon footprint by making different product selections within the Google Cloud infrastructure. 

  1. Unattended Project Recommender

Have you ever left 30 tabs open on your internet browser and 10 apps running, all while trying to complete a design project at the same time? Imagine if you had a tool to help remind you to close those unnecessary tabs and apps to help improve your working pace. That’s similar to how Unattended Project Recommender (UPR) works. Carbon Footprint data is integrated with this tool, which tells companies how much they could reduce their emissions by exiting idle projects.  

Using computer algorithms, UPR finds code running on Google servers that hasn’t been accessed for an extended period, suggesting the task is no longer needed. 

  1. Google Earth Engine

For the first time, Google Earth Engine’s satellite imagery and geospatial data platform is now being put to use for businesses. A long-time favorite of scientists, the revamped version of Google Earth Engine for enterprises shows regions with the lowest carbon impact inside Cloud Console location selectors. Currently, the Google Earth Engine is only available for users of Cloud Run and Datastream, but it will eventually become an option with more Google Cloud offerings over time.  

According to Google Cloud, Google Earth’s expansion will allow public sector organizations and businesses to use insights from this tool and solve sustainability-related problems, such as: 

  • building sustainable supply chains, 
  • committing to deforestation-free lending, 
  • preparing for recovery from weather-related events, 
  • and reducing operational water use.

There’s no doubt that the tools as described above will make major strides in moving the needle for enterprises’ sustainability efforts. But one important question remains: are they actually working? And is Google Cloud really as green for operations as it purports? All data points to yes.

One case study of the U.S. General Services Administration showed that by switching to Google Apps, they were able to reduce office computing costs, energy use, and carbon emissions by 70–90%. Additionally, something as simple as using Gmail as the primary platform for a company can make a big difference. Reportedly, companies using Gmail have decreased the environmental impact of their email service by up to 98% when compared to businesses that run email on local servers.

The features mentioned above also show great promise for overall emissions reductions. One report from Google calculated the aggregate monthly figure for all  its users and found that 600,000 kilograms CO2 equivalent — the same as a car driving 1.5 million miles —  of emissions could be reduced by eliminating invalid tasks–a feat easily achieved with UPR. Put another way, Google estimates that cleaning up or reclaiming those tasks would have an equivalent impact to planting almost 10,000 trees.

Sustainability Is Achievable with Google Cloud. 

As Google continues its focus on sustainability, enterprises’ reliance on the cloud backed by sophisticated tools will provide a path forward for those looking to “go green” once and for all. 

You can read more about Google Cloud’s carbon reduction tools in our recent white paper “The Road to Net Zero With Google Cloud.” And to learn how these tools can help your business enterprise achieve its sustainability goals, contact Maven Wave today.

October 18th, 2022

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