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The Google Cloud Ready - Sustainability Program: One year in

July 27, 2023
Denise Pearl

Global ISV Lead, Google Cloud Ready Sustainability

With a year of the Google Cloud Ready - Sustainability program under our belts, it’s a perfect time to measure the impact that the program and its partners have had — after all, we’re all about measurement. 

Looking over the past year, it’s clear that the program has come at an opportune time: A recent Harris poll conducted on behalf of Google Cloud indicates that motivation for sustainability initiatives remains high, with 84% of respondents agreeing that, “In the past 12 months, I realized I care more about sustainability than before.” However, progress has stalled slightly against economic headwinds, and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) efforts have slipped from first to third place among organizational priorities since the previous year. 

Over the next four blog posts, we’ll get into the details of how the program has evolved, including new initiatives, new partnerships, and even new ways to think about sustainability in a business context — and where the program is going next. 

Taking a rigorous approach

From day one, one of the guiding principles of the Google Cloud Ready - Sustainability program has been its rigorous selection criteria for partners, and we’re pleased to report that this approach has been well received by partners and customers alike. It ensures that the solutions our partners deliver are backed by domain expertise and climate science. This has become even more important today, with 59% of executives saying that their organizations overstate their sustainability methods, which can potentially result in reputational damage from accusations of greenwashing.  

We’ve also observed that the term “sustainability” is evolving from a somewhat ambiguous notion into a clearly defined component of sustainable business transformation clearly demonstrating measurable benefits that accrue to the bottom line. For this reason, sustainability reporting is now becoming on par with financial reporting. Regulators, legislators, NGOs, and citizen groups are starting to demand clear, third-party reporting from organizations, while business leaders want to see positive financial results. Without reliable, accurate, and verified measurement, ambiguity and greenwashing risks loom. We believe that the Google Cloud Ready - Sustainability program is providing the technology, accountability, and skills that are key to accelerating progress.

Take CARTO, for example, a founding member of the Google Cloud Ready - Sustainability program. Carto enables organizations to use spatial data and analysis for more efficient delivery routes, better behavioral marketing, strategic store placements, and much more. Data scientists, developers, and analysts use CARTO to optimize sustainable business processes and predict future outcomes through the power of spatial data science. Hundreds of global organizations use CARTO to drive impactful sustainability projects to better understand and protect biodiversity, analyze climate impacts on the built environment, guide the roll-out of sustainable energy and transport infrastructures, and reduce thousands of tons of CO2 emissions annually.

Measure, optimize, and transform

The changes we’ve seen over the past year have shaped the program in ways that we anticipate will pay dividends in the future.

First, it has resulted in a partner ecosystem that embraces quality over quantity. We’ve grown  from the original 18 charter partners to 30, including partners such as Airbus Intelligence, which owns and operates nine optical and radar satellites to support customers facing sustainability challenges. Data from Airbus has helped farmers minimize excessive water and fertilizer use while maintaining or increasing crop yields; determined water, sanitation, and hygiene service needs in Kenya; and created an early warning for forest damage in Brazil. 

Second, while raw data is valuable, its value lies in proper interpretation and taking data-driven action. Consider, for example, our new partner mCloud — whose AssetCare® solutions optimize the performance, reliability, and sustainability of energy-intensive assets, powered by a host of Google Cloud technologies including BigQuery, Vertex AI, and Looker. By helping customers in energy-intensive industries continuously take action on asset data, AssetCare helps customers worldwide save over 120 million kWh of energy each year, avoiding more than 80,000 tons in CO2 emissions annually and the equivalent of 18,000 gas-powered passenger cars driven for an entire year. We want to continue providing tools that help organizations interpret data for meaningful insights to inform decisions and drive action.

Third, it’s important to recognize where and how partner organizations are aligned to supporting sustainable business transformations. We’re introducing a new system to indicate the maturity level of our sustainability partners, with clear criteria to help them augment their offerings in ways that add value for our mutual customers, including new generative AI models.   

Lastly, we want the program to meet the needs of customers along their own ESG journeys, from measuring performance to optimizing it, and finally, to transforming their organizations to become driven by environmental and economic resilience — measure, optimize, and transform. 

  • Measure impact and manage ESG performance

  • Optimize programs along the value chain, better manage transportation and logistics, and drive toward carbon-free energy

  • Transform into a net-zero organization 

Each of these stages is grounded in real-world activity and investment, as we’ll see in upcoming blog posts. For example, our new partner Watershed, the enterprise climate platform, powers end-to-end climate platforms for companies like Spotify, Carlyle, Block, and SKIMS. Watershed delivers granular, audit-ready emissions data; one-click disclosure and reporting; target-setting and decarbonization tools; and cutting-edge carbon removal — all in one enterprise-grade software platform. With more than 291M tCO2e under management — more than Spain's annual emissions — Watershed has helped leading companies satisfy regulatory requirements, unlock new business opportunities, and address climate-related risks. 

Looking forward to the next year and beyond

While we’re thrilled by the successes we’ve achieved with our partners in the Google Cloud Ready - Sustainability program, this is just the beginning.

Google Cloud Ready - Sustainability is part of Google Cloud Partner Advantage, designed to maximize our partners' success across business models, customer requirements, success metrics, and strategic priorities. Our focus moving forward is to provide the practical, real-world solutions that organizations need to achieve measurable ESG and economic results. 

Look for Google Cloud Ready - Sustainability validated solutions on the Google Cloud Partner Directory Listing, Google Cloud Ready Sustainability Partner Advantage page, and — if applicable — via the Google Cloud Marketplace. We hope to help customers better understand how these technologies can help them meet their ESG goals, find the right solutions for their particular challenges, and implement solutions faster. 

Learn more about the Google Cloud Ready - Sustainability validation initiative and explore all our partners in sustainability transformation.

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