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Google Sustainability News, Milestones, Cloud Partnerships and Net Zero Timeline

November 14, 2023 by Joe Panettieri

Google, owned by Alphabet, is striving to achieve net zero emissions across all operations and value chain by 2030. At the same time, Google Cloud's goal is to run on carbon-free energy, 24/7, across all data centers by 2030. The overall effort includes cloud-centric sustainability partnerships.

Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google

Google's net zero efforts -- led by Chief Sustainability Officer Kate Brandt (pictured, top of page) -- don't end there. The company, driven by CEO Sundar Pichai, also develops cloud-based sustainability software tools for partners and customers to leverage. And the Google Startups for Sustainable Development program supports a global ecosystem of impact-focused startups. The program builds community and supports startups with advisors, funding, and platform technology.

The timeline below, updated regularly, further explains Google's sustainability strategy, key milestones, customer engagements, partner integrations and more. Check back regularly for updates.

November 2023: Sustainability Strategy and Partnerships

Multiple Updates...

Mike Werner, Google Sustainability
Mike Werner, Sustainability Programs and Innovation Group
  • Cloud Partnership - Consulting: Sustainability consultancy ERM has joined the Google Cloud Partner Advantage Program as a service partner. Among the potential use cases: Google Earth Engine will allow ERM to "scale the use of earth observation data to address organizations’ most pressing sustainability imperatives including climate risk identification and management, and biodiversity and nature strategy," the companies said. Among the key names to know: Kushal Mashru, head of strategic partnerships at ERM.

October 2023: Google Sustainability Strategy, Milestones, Partnerships and Investments

Kushal Mashru
Kushal Mashru, head of strategic partnerships, ERM

Software Tools: The search giant announced multiple product milestones, including:

September 2023: Google Sustainability Strategy, Milestones, Partnerships and Investments

Multiple updates...

Malaysia: Google is keen to explore partnerships with Malaysia’s local governments and municipalities to drive the country’s 2050 net zero ambition, according to Apac Richard Navarro, Google's Real Estate Team sustainability lead, the Sun Daily reported.

Tablets - Right to Repair: Google has partnered withi iFixIt on the Google Pixel Tablet. The effort promotes user-friendly repairs and longevity, aligning with the right to repair movement, Android Police reported.

Chromebooks - E-Waste Reduction: Google plans to provide Chromebook software updates for up to a decade. The new policy, which starts in 2024, ensures that no existing Chromebook will expire within the next two years, The Wall Street Journal reported. Newer models have eight years of support, while older Chromebooks have five, the report said. Starting in 2024, Google will support a given laptop “platform”—a certain combination of hardware components—for 10 years after the first device in the platform hits store shelves, The Journal noted.

Thomas Kurian, CEO, Google Cloud
Thomas Kurian, CEO, Google Cloud

Renewable Energy in Ireland: The company signed an agreement with Power Capital Renewable Energy for 58 megawatts (MW) of new-to-the grid capacity from the Tullabeg Solar Farm. Once operational, this PPA (power purchase agreement) will help Google's offices and data centre in Ireland to reach 60% carbon-free energy in 2025 when measured on an hourly basis, according to Ainhoa Anda, data center energy senior lead at the search giant.

AI and Sustainability: Amid concerns that AI applications may consume substantial energy, Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian sees the situation differently. In an interview with Diginomica, Kurian said: "One of the reasons that we talk about performance improvement and optimization is that you need to spend a lot less compute time, and therefore a lot less energy watts, in order to train a model. When we say we can run a model training two times faster and better than other companies in the industry, it means you need half the amount of energy to train our model."

August 2023: Sustainability Strategy, Milestones, Partnerships and Investments

Justin Keeble, managing director of global sustainability, Google

Google Cloud Next 2023 News: At the conference, the company announced...

IT Consulting Partnership: Deloitte and Google Cloud partnered to offer generative AI and geospatial data applications designed to help customers address sustainability, climate risks and net-zero carbon emission strategies.

Energy Management Partnership: Hitachi Energy and Google Cloud partnered to develop multiple cloud software products and services to "help customers accelerate the global energy transition toward green and renewable sources."

SAP Software Partnership: New SAP solutions -- leveraging SAP Datasphere and Google Vertex AI -- will "help customers to create bespoke sustainability reports, automate AI-powered sustainability alerts throughout the supply chain, and enhance decision-making with deeper analyses on environmental impact and financial benefits," SAP asserted. The solutions, available "soon" on the search giant's cloud, will also integrate with the SAP Sustainability Control Tower solution.

Earlier: Sustainability Strategy, Milestones and More

Chris Vonderhaar, VP of demand and supply management, Google Cloud

July 2023 - Key Hire: Amazon Web Services (AWS) veteran Chris Vonderhaar joined Google Cloud as VP of demand and supply management, according to his LinkedIn profile.

July 2023 - Disclosure: Google's 2023 Environmental Report arrived.

March 2023 - Heat Perspectives: In a blog, Chief Sustainability Officer Kate Brandt described how the company is helping people and cities to adapt to extreme heat.

March 2023 - Partnership: Watershed, which develops a climate-oriented software platform for enterprise customers, joined the Google Cloud Ready Sustainability program. Together, Watershed and Google Cloud plan to help customers on their journeys toward achieving and maintaining net zero carbon emissions.

December 2022 - Startup Accelerators: The company unveiled 10-week startup accelerators for climate-focused startups in North America and Europe.

June 2022: The company launched the Google Cloud Ready - Sustainability designation in June 2022. Early partners in that ecosystem include AclimaAirbusAtlas AIBlueSky ResourcesCARTO,Climate EngineElectricity MapsFlexiDAOGeotabLevelTen EnergyNGISPlanet Labs PBCRenSidewalk LabsTomorrow.ioUP42Woza.

Check back regularly for more timeline updates.

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