Environmental Report

2017 Progress Update

Current Projects

  • Smelling the carpet: Making buildings healthier, along with the people in them

    Using healthy building materials has been a major focus for Google's real estate team since our early days as a company. In 2012, the team started developing Portico, a tool aimed at vetting the quality of construction materials.

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  • Northern exposure: How our Nordic renewable deals are reaping rewards

    In 2017 Google will reach its goal of 100% renewable energy. This represents great progress, but it falls short of our next ambition: for every data center to cover its own consumption with clean energy. Our data centers in Finland and the Netherlands have achieved this goal, and its resulting in benefits for the company and the planet.

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  • 100% renewable is just the beginning

    Google set a goal to reach 100% renewable, and we're well on our way to achieving that by the end of 2017. How? By directly buying enough new wind and solar electricity annually to account for every unit of electricity our operations consume, globally.

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  • Mapping the invisible: Street View cars add air pollution sensors

    Google Street View cars are driving around pretty much everywhere, capturing 360-degree photos for Google Maps. In 2014, Google started equipping Street View cars in certain cities with sensors to measure air pollutants and the overall air quality of an area.

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  • Oceans of data: tracking illegal fishing over 1.4 billion square miles

    The global fish population is in crisis; some species’ numbers have dropped by a staggering 90%. Google is partnering with Global Fishing Watch to bring transparency to fishing activity across the globe and combat illegal fishing.

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  • Machine learning finds new ways for our data centers to save energy

    Google has been thinking about data center efficiency for as long as we’ve been thinking about data centers. We used machine learning to produce a reduction in both energy used for cooling and in overall energy overhead.

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  • Greening the grid: how Google buys renewable energy

    As data centers are one of the world’s fastest-growing electricity users, it’s good business sense for Google to go sustainable and good corporate citizenship to help others move in that direction. How? Through power purchase agreements (PPAs): large-scale, long-term contracts to buy renewable energy in volumes that would meet the needs of our business.

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  • Recipe for sustainability: Why Google cafes love ugly produce

    Google's food program feeds employees in more than 200 cafés and 1,000 self-service kitchens across the globe, while fine-tuning every step in the food service process, from procurement to prep to plate to disposal, in support of the company’s sustainability goals. To reduce food waste, Google cafés started buying and serving ugly produce.

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  • Earth Engine creates a living map of forest loss

    The Google Earth team set out to visualize and monitor forest changes in high resolution across the entire globe. To create the global forest map, Earth Engine used a network of cloud-based servers to process 650,000 images across 10,000 computers working in parallel. It would have taken a solo computer 15 years to do the job.

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  • Reaching our solar potential, one rooftop at a time

    Project Sunroof puts Google's expansive data in mapping and computing resources to use for people and organizations interested in solar power.

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