Google Cloud to show users their carbon footprint in Gmail, Docs


Google Cloud to show users their carbon footprint in Gmail, Docs


Google Cloud has expanded its suite of tools to reveal the carbon footprint for its Workspace apps, which include Gmail and Docs, aiming to help its customers assess their environmental impact. 

The tech giant’s plan is to be completely carbon-free by 2030. To reach the goal, it currently uses renewable energy sources in all of its operations and had completely offset all of its emissions by 2007.

Last year, it added three new features to Google Maps that will help users reduce their carbon footprint by offering the least polluting flight or driving route. It also announced in October that it will tell its customers the carbon emissions of cloud usage and open satellite imagery to them for environmental analysis, in a bid to help firms track and cut carbon footprint. 

The company recently expanded its measures to help clients reduce their environmental impact. According to Justin Keeble, executive director of global sustainability at Google Cloud, the Workspace carbon data will be released in early 2023.

Cloud computing, a crucial area of operation for Google, is known as an energy-intensive domain. Google operates data centers all around the world and has long acquired renewable energy to keep pace with server farm energy usage. The firm added that it will now disclose scope 1 and 3 emissions related to a customer’s use of Google Cloud.

Google’s move is prompted by the fact that spam or unopened emails can contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and leave a carbon footprint. According to non-profit organization The Good Planet, 293.6 billion emails are sent every day in 2019, which equates to roughly 107 billion spam emails in a single day. These figures are only projected to rise in the coming years.

Every year, the sending and screening of such emails consumes billions of units of electricity. According to a post on The Good Planet website, the average American has around 500 unopened emails. Assuming these unread emails were deleted, 175 grams of carbon dioxide would be removed if each email contributed 0.3 grams of carbon. 

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