Design for environmental sustainability

This document in the Google Cloud Architecture Framework summarizes how you can approach environmental sustainability for your workloads in Google Cloud. It includes information about how to minimize your carbon footprint on Google Cloud.

Understand your carbon footprint

To understand the carbon footprint from your Google Cloud usage, use the Carbon Footprint dashboard. The Carbon Footprint dashboard attributes emissions to the Google Cloud projects that you own and the cloud services that you use.

For more information, see Understand your carbon footprint in "Reduce your Google Cloud carbon footprint."

Choose the most suitable cloud regions

One simple and effective way to reduce carbon emissions is to choose cloud regions with lower carbon emissions. To help you make this choice, Google publishes carbon data for all Google Cloud regions.

When you choose a region, you might need to balance lowering emissions with other requirements, such as pricing and network latency. To help select a region, use the Google Cloud Region Picker.

For more information, see Choose the most suitable cloud regions in "Reduce your Google Cloud carbon footprint."

Choose the most suitable cloud services

To help reduce your existing carbon footprint, consider migrating your on-premises VM workloads to Compute Engine.

Also consider that many workloads don't require VMs. Often you can utilize a serverless offering instead. These managed services can optimize cloud resource usage, often automatically, which simultaneously reduces cloud costs and carbon footprint.

For more information, see Choose the most suitable cloud services in "Reduce your Google Cloud carbon footprint."

Minimize idle cloud resources

Idle resources incur unnecessary costs and emissions. Some common causes of idle resources include the following:

  • Unused, active cloud resources, such as idle VM instances.
  • Over-provisioned resources, such as larger VM machine types than necessary for a workload.
  • Non-optimal architectures, such as lift-and-shift migrations that aren't always optimized for efficiency. Consider making incremental improvements to these architectures.

The following are some general strategies to help minimize wasted cloud resources:

  • Identify idle or overprovisioned resources and either delete them or rightsize them.
  • Refactor your architecture to incorporate a more optimal design.
  • Migrate workloads to managed services.

For more information, see Minimize idle cloud resources in "Reduce your Google Cloud carbon footprint."

Reduce emissions for batch workloads

Run batch workloads in regions with lower carbon emissions. For further reductions, run workloads at times that coincide with lower grid carbon intensity when possible.

For more information, see Reduce emissions for batch workloads in "Reduce your Google Cloud carbon footprint."

What's next