Google Cloud today announced a new (and free) feature that will provide its users with custom carbon footprint reports that detail the carbon emissions their cloud usage generates.
Google Cloud itself has long said that it wants to run 100% on carbon-free energy by 2030. It’s already matching its energy usage with renewable energy purchases. But it’s not just Google Cloud — virtually every enterprise today is looking to see how it can reach its emission targets, too. Quantifying the role of cloud computing in this is notoriously difficult, though, so the idea here is to make it easier for businesses to report the environmental impact of their cloud usage, both internally and externally.
“Customers can leverage this data for reporting as well as internal audits and carbon reduction efforts. Build in collaboration with customers like HSBC, L’Oréal and Atos, our carbon footprint reporting introduces a new level of transparency to support customers in meeting their climate goals,” said Jenn Bennett, who leads Google Cloud’s data and technology strategy for sustainability in the Office of the CTO. “Customers can monitor their cloud emissions over time by project, by product and by region, empowering IT teams and developers with metrics that help them reduce their carbon footprint. Digital infrastructure emissions are really just one part of their environmental footprint, but accounting for carbon emissions is necessary to measure progress against the carbon reduction targets that they all have.”
As Bennett noted, once a company has accurate reporting in place, providing recommendations for how to reduce their climate impact is a natural next step. Specifically, this means adding carbon estimates to Google Cloud’s Unattended Project Recommender, which helps customers reduce their number of idling resources, and adding a sustainability impact category to its Active Assist Recommender.