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Progress and impact

Advancing sustainability

Every YouTube video streamed has zero carbon footprint from our Google data centers. That’s because sustainability has been a core value for Google since it was founded, two decades ago. In its founding decade, Google became the first major company to be carbon neutral. In its second decade, it was the first company to achieve 100% renewable energy. By 2030, Google aims to be the first major company to operate carbon free.

Advancing sustainability

Leading the way

We always start with how we can operate our business more sustainably. As part of Google, it’s our responsibility - and it’s also the best way to innovate, iterate, and share best practices with others.

  • Operating on carbon-free energy 24/7 by 2030

Google aims to be the first major company to achieve 24/7 carbon-free energy by 2030. To get there, we’re pursuing new carbon-free energy generation and storage technologies.

  • Keeping carbon neutral

In 2007, Google was the first major company to commit to carbon neutrality, and since 2017 we’ve matched 100% of our electricity consumption with renewable energy purchases. As of today, we’ve procured enough high-quality carbon offsets to neutralize all of our emissions since our founding in 1998.

  • Deploying $5.75B in sustainability bonds

This August, we issued $5.75 billion in sustainability bonds. It’s the largest corporate issuance of its kind, ever - helping support a wide variety of issues vital to a sustainable future - including clean energy, green buildings, clean transportation, circular design, affordable housing, racial equity, COVID-19 response, and support for small businesses.

  • Enabling 5 GW of new carbon-free energy in manufacturing regions by 2030

To help drive development of wind, solar, and other clean energy generation where it’s needed most, we’re building on our previous investment to bring a total of five gigawatts online over the next ten years. That's more than all the solar capacity available in the state of Arizona today.

Supporting partners

Deleting emissions from our own operations is vital, but our impact is far greater when we enable others to do the same. Google is committed to sharing technology, methods, and funding to help organizations everywhere transition to resilient, carbon-free systems. And here’s what that looks like:

  • Helping over 500 cities to reduce 1 gigaton of carbon emissions annually by 2030

Google is making the data in its Environmental Insights Explorer available to 3000 cities, helping them to measure, plan, and track progress towards their climate action plans - with a goal of emissions reductions equivalent to taking 200 million cars off the road for a year.

  • Removing more carbon from the atmosphere with reforestation and better tree data

Efficiency and clean energy are vital, but we also need to remove carbon that’s already in the air. Nature provides a great solution - trees - but knowing where, when, and what to plant is critical to ensure planted trees thrive and have the desired effect of restoring lands and communities. Google is starting with science-based reforestation efforts in California, Texas, Spain, and Australia - and partnering with Crowther Lab to develop a global data platform to increase the impact of restoration projects around the world.

  • Launching €10M Climate Impact Challenge to accelerate green recovery

The Google.org Impact Challenge on Climate commits €10M to fund bold ideas that aim to use technology to accelerate Europe’s progress toward a greener, more resilient future. Selected organizations may receive up to €2M in funding and post-grant support from the Google for Startups Accelerator to help bring their ideas to life.

  • Using breakthrough AI research to dramatically increase building efficiency

Google and DeepMind have been using machine learning to control cooling systems in its global data centers since 2016. Those algorithms now work safely and autonomously to bring a 30% energy savings to our cooling systems, in our most energy-intense buildings. Google has now developed the Industrial Adaptive Controls platform to deliver AI-enabled energy savings to the world’s largest industrial enterprises and Building Management software providers, who make up nearly 60% of the global large commercial building footprint.

Enabling everyone

Google helps people around the world take action to live more sustainably every day. People searched for “How to live a more sustainable lifestyle” more than ever in 2020. And some of Google’s products are already helping people around the world take steps to do just that. They turn to Google Maps to find sustainable transit options like walking, biking, and public transportation. And Nest Thermostats have helped customers save 50 billion kWh of energy over the years. But we know there’s more we can do to help everyone live more sustainably.

Google is building products and technology that empower people to better understand their personal impact and reduce their carbon footprint. Over the next two years, we’ll build features that connect people with more sustainable options and offer actionable information at the right time. The goal is to help a billion people reduce their environmental footprint each year by introducing new sustainability features directly into our core products. We’ve already started this journey, and there’s a lot more coming soon.