Google Promotes Environmental Consciousness With New Carbon Reports Feature

Published · Oct 18, 2021

Google Cloud announced a new feature that will help its clients track the carbon footprint of their cloud usage. This is part of an initiative to fight climate change through carbon reduction.

Google proudly notes that it was the first major company to become carbon neutral. Not content to stop there, it has bigger aspirations, planning to be carbon-free by 2030. Google offers the Cloud Carbon Footprint feature to cloud users for free to help them reduce their carbon footprint.

The tool produces detailed reports on the carbon footprint of cloud projects.

Google points out its customers can use the reports for internal and external audits. This can help companies meet internal carbon reduction goals and ensure smooth correspondence with regulatory bodies.

The tool itself takes the form of a dashboard with access to a range of features. It offers breakdowns by month, region, or specific project. There is also a recommendation feature that can indicate points of reduction—for example, idle projects that are using resources unnecessarily.

While the tool is free, exporting data through the BigQuery tool comes with a fee.

Fending off the Storm

Climate change has fast become a major point of focus, as floods, wildfires, and storms become commonplace globally. The tech sector, in particular, draws a lot of scrutiny for its carbon emissions. This has prompted many major firms to begin working toward carbon reduction.

Google is the first major cloud provider to take a step like this, but others have their own goals in mind. Amazon Web Services, for example, aims to run on 100% renewable energy by 2025.

While cloud tech doesn’t put out nearly as much carbon as some other industries, it is being adopted at an increasing rate. Many businesses make the jump to cloud computing or at least rely on tools like cloud storage or backups.

This usage boom means that cloud firms have to get ahead so that the industry can continue to grow sustainably. Google’s Carbon Footprint is a great way to do this and is sure to inspire similar programs.

Garan van Rensburg
Garan van Rensburg

Garan is a writer interested in how tech reshapes the environment, and how the environment reshapes tech. You'll usually find him inoculating against future shock and arguing with bots.