Google Cloud Users Can Track App Carbon Footprints Next Year

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) announced a new sustainability initiative that will next year allow users of its Workspace apps to track their carbon footprints.

Announced around this week's Google Cloud Sustainability Summit, Carbon Footprint for Google Workspace builds on a similar program last year called Carbon Footprint for Google Cloud, which helps organizations measure, report and reduce the gross carbon emissions of using Google Cloud services. Those services include BigQuery, App Engine, Compute Engine, Kubernetes Engine and many more.

Now, the same program -- part of the Carbon Sense suite of products -- is being expanded to track emissions from Workspace apps like Gmail, Drive, Docs and several others.

The existing services-oriented program to help organizations measure, report, and reduce their cloud carbon emissions lets them:

  • Include gross carbon emissions data in reports and disclosures
  • Visualize carbon insights via dashboards and charts
  • Reduce the gross emissions of cloud applications and infrastructure
 GCP Carbon Footprint
[Click on image for larger view.] GCP Carbon Footprint (source: Google Cloud).

At its preview Carbon Footprint site set up for cloud services, Google listed the benefits of the program, saying it would help organizations:

  • Accurately measure your gross carbon footprint: View the gross, location-based emissions that derive from your Google Cloud usage, providing transparency into emissions associated with your cloud applications. Your net operational emissions are zero.
  • Track the emissions profile of cloud projects: Monitor your gross cloud emissions over time by project, product, and region--giving IT teams and developers metrics that can help them improve their carbon footprint.
  • Share detailed methodology with reviewers: Our detailed calculation methodology is published so that reviewers and reporting teams can verify that their emissions data meets Greenhouse Gas Protocol Protocol.

Google Cloud also announced several other sustainability efforts around this week's summit, launching new datasets, tools and partnership programs to encourage everyone to make good sustainability choices.

A full roundup is available in this June 27 blog post.

"At Google, we believe that the path to a sustainable future begins with the small decisions we make every day," the company said. "But industries, governments and corporations are challenged to make these decisions without the right data or insights to inform them. Even a small choice for an organization -- which raw material to choose for a new product, when to proactively water crops ahead of a drought, which green funds to invest in -- requires understanding unique and often complex information."

Google Cloud has been especially active on the sustainability front among major cloud computing providers. A couple months ago, for example, it published a survey-based report titled "CEOs are Ready to Fund a Sustainable Transformation."

"Many executives are prioritizing sustainability at their companies," the report said. However, it continued: "They say they are willing to do what it takes to have more sustainable practices. Despite their ambition, however, real measures of impact are lacking."

Perhaps the raft of GCP sustainability efforts announced this week will improve that situation.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.


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