Google Cloud is launching a new electricity-tracking product and expanding access to its satellite imagery software, in an effort to introduce more sustainability features to its suite of cloud computing services.
The announcements are among several made at the company’s annual customer conference, Google Cloud Next.
“Carbon Footprint” is a new product that tracks carbon emissions by measuring how much electricity each customer — i.e. company — expends while using the Google Cloud platform.
According to an official blog post, the purpose of the product is to provide companies with data “to show their employees, boards and customers their progress against climate targets.”
The product also flags when customers have unattended or idling projects in the cloud that are using up electricity — similar to how Google Photos will detect duplicate photos and suggest you delete them to save space.
Interestingly, Google Cloud customers are also gaining some access to Google Earth Engine.
Google’s reasoning is that the satellite imagery software will let companies “track, monitor and predict changes in the Earth’s surface due to extreme weather events or human-caused activities” and as a result help them “save on operational costs, mitigate and better manage risks, and become more resilient to climate change threats.”
Last week, Google rolled out a number sustainability-oriented updates to its ubiquitous search engine.
The new features included adding CO2 emission labels to flights in Google Flights listings, adding badges to its hotel search tool indicating whether a hotel is eco-certified, and a forthcoming plan to improve the results page when folks use Google to search for infomation about climate change.
GIF source: Google