Google unveils ambitious sustainability plans for its data centres

Tech giant to eliminate its entire carbon legacy.

Google has unveiled one of its most ambitious plans for towards a decade of climate action. According to the technology giant, it plans to commit to help more than 500 cities and local governments reduce an aggregate of one gigaton (one billion tons) of carbon emissions per year by 2030 and beyond.

To do this, Google will empower city planners and policymakers with the Environmental Insights Explorer (EIE), a platform we developed by analysing Google’s comprehensive global mapping data together with standard greenhouse gas (GHG) emission factors. Today, we’re expanding access to EIE, going from 122 cities with access to more than 3,000 cities worldwide—a 25-fold increase. Google will also partnering with leading organizations, like ICLEI and Ironbark Sustainability, to support local climate action planning.

collaborated with partners to scale data access. Leading organisations like Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI ) and Ironbark Sustainability are integrating EIE data into their own tools, helping digitize emissions measurement and planning.

With EIE data, Ironbark Sustainability is automating how they provide greenhouse gas emission information to local government councils across Australia so decision-makers can target their climate action activities.

To help build a carbon-free future for everyone, Google plans to:

  • Eliminating its entire carbon legacy, effective of September 2020.
  • Be one of the first major company to make a commitment to operate on 24/7 carbon-free energy in all our data centres and campuses worldwide. This is far more challenging than the traditional approach of matching energy usage with renewable energy, but Google plans to get this done by 2030.
  • Invest in technologies to help our partners and people all over the world make sustainable choices. For example, Google are investing in manufacturing regions to enable 5 GW of new carbon-free energy, helping 500 cities reduce their carbon emissions and finding new ways to empower 1 billion people through our products.
  • Google estimates that the commitments we’re making today will directly generate more than 20,000 new jobs in clean energy and associated industries, in America and around the world, by 2025.
  • Work towards 24/7 carbon-free energy at all its data centres and campuses around the world.

Sundar Pichai CEO of Google and Alphabet said thanks to trends in technology, and with the right government policies, the promise of 24/7 clean energy will soon be within reach.

“To get there, Google will invest in approaches that make it possible for us to source reliable carbon-free energy in all locations, at all times of day,” he said. “We’ll do things like pairing wind and solar power sources together and increasing our use of battery storage.”

Pichai said Google was working on ways to apply AI to optimise electricity demand and forecasting. “These efforts will help create 12,000 jobs by 2025,” he said. “Importantly, we think our work can accelerate the availability of clean energy in communities worldwide and help to solve challenges that have held back its ability to become an around-the-clock source of energy.”






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