Solving For Sustainability With the Cloud

Stewart Smith

Archive article - published on May 14 2021

While Earth Day is an annual event celebrated globally on April 22 to demonstrate support for environmental protection, today’s corporations need to think about sustainability year-round. In fact, according to the BSR/GlobeScan 11th Annual State of Sustainable Business Survey, 61% of companies cite reputational risks and or benefits as a top-three driver of their company’s sustainability efforts. At the heart of this concern is public opinion which is pushing for change.

Sustainability Is A CIO Problem

New standards set by regulatory groups and public opinion urge companies to respond to climate change. IT infrastructure contributes to global carbon emissions, with data centers worldwide consuming an estimated 1% of global electricity (in the United States, it’s more like 2%). As a result, they are a target in the quest to tackle climate change. By adopting sustainable IT, CIOs can immediately help their company comply with regulations and satisfy internal and external stakeholders.

Why Google Cloud

Companies are facing immense pressure to act on climate change and reduce the environmental impact of their operations. But, understanding this reality and being empowered to make the world a more sustainable place are two different things.

One way businesses are becoming more sustainable is by working with Google Cloud, which designs efficient data centers to deliver services in an environmentally responsible manner. Google has worked hard to make its data centers some of the most efficient globally, using 50% less energy than the industry average. Organizations that move IT infrastructure or applications to Google Cloud can reduce the net carbon emissions of their computing to zero.

As the world’s largest corporate buyer of renewable energy, Google is also helping its customers achieve renewable energy targets.

Here are some critical facts about Google’s sustainability commitments:

  • The company has been carbon neutral since 2007
  • Over the past five years, Google has increased its compute performance x7 for the same energy usage
  • Over 12 years ago, Google offset more than 19 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions
  • Google matches 100% of its global consumption with renewable energy


Every Industry Need to Think About Sustainability

For those who don’t work in heavy industry, it’s easy to forget about our environmental footprint. After all, there are not telltale smokestacks, open flames, or fleets of trucks. But all industries have an environmental impact if not directly due to production, then certainly through electricity usage or the procurement of materials and resources. As one example, look at the retail industry. According to a study conducted by Ecochain, which empowers businesses to make sustainable change, 70% of the industry’s environmental impact results from waste disposal, paper usage, supplier emissions, and business travel.

Fortunately, Google provides solutions that can help businesses reduce their overall environmental impact. Consider these possibilities:

Manufacturing:  Cloud data analytics can be used to reduce waste in the production line.  

Retail: Use Google Cloud data analytics and machine learning to increase supply chain transparency to collect and surface data leading to better sourcing decisions. Google BigQuery store large data sets of transaction history and customer information, and Google Cloud shared infrastructure enables rapid scaling to meet e-commerce cycles.

Media: Google Cloud’s high-performing data centers can be used to store data and media files efficiently.

Financial services: Cloud data analytics can help identify more ESG (environmental, social, and governance)-friendly investments.  

Transportation and logistics: Google Cloud enables careful management of fleet data in real-time to contribute to the decarbonization of the transportation sector.  

Get Sustainable Today

Since 2017, Google has purchased enough renewable energy to match 100 percent of its annual global electricity consumption. A recent Greenpeace report revealed that Google is the only top cloud provider to reach this milestone.

To understand how your company can adjust its environmental impact without interrupting business operations, contact WALT Labs today. One of our team members will discuss your specific needs in more detail and show you the many unique ways Google Cloud can help drive sustainability for your business.

Stewart Smith
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