The impacts of climate change on human, natural and business systems are well documented, as is the need to act to leave a healthier world for future generations. Many C-Suite executives, technology leaders and line-of-business teams are asking themselves whether they are fully exploiting sustainability to modernise and stimulate their businesses.
Businesses need to ensure their digital transformation strategies incorporate sustainability objectives, or risk missing opportunities and costing themselves new business and revenue.
Many businesses are doing so by using suppliers that can drive improved sustainability and environmental performance while enabling digital transformation. At Google Cloud, we want to achieve carbon-free energy, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at all of our data centres worldwide by 2030.
Businesses that move into Google Cloud can dramatically reduce the net emissions associated with their compute and data storage, while accessing the agility, performance and availability of cloud services.
However, businesses that view sustainability as an opportunity are looking beyond shifting technology infrastructure into our cloud. They recognise the chance to complement sustainability with innovation across the organisation, impacting functions beyond IT such as marketing and finance.
These businesses also understand that consumers demand sustainable products, investors are moving to brands and funds with strong environmental, social and governance principles and nations are prioritising a sustainable economic recovery.
For businesses yet to acknowledge the environmental threat, ignoring or dismissing sustainability is not an option. As Mark Carney, former Governor of the Bank of England, stated recently, “Firms that align their business models to the transition to a net zero [emissions] world will be rewarded handsomely. Those that fail to adapt will cease to exist.”
In addition, a recent resilience report prepared by global bank HSBC noted the impetus to become more sustainable is coming from several sources: 43% of businesses surveyed anticipated customer demand would be a source of pressure in the next 1-2 years, while 38% anticipated pressure from government regulations and 32% from employees.
Achieving sustainability with Google Cloud
Many businesses are already achieving considerable sustainability returns from investing in cloud. For example, shipping and logistics business UPS created algorithms to continually optimise the routes its trucks travel to deliver packages to consumers.
The project saves UPS $US400 million a year and reduces fossil fuel consumption by more than 37 million litres a year. In addition, France-based retailer Carrefour used the cloud to optimise its inventory ordering process, increasing sourcing efficiency while dramatically impacting food waste.
Customer experience specialist Wingify is another customer to have reaped considerable environmental benefits from cloud. Ankit Jain, Vice President of Engineering, Wingify, says “By migrating to Google Cloud, our carbon footprint was reduced by 30% as a company, because most of our footprint is the technology we use. It brings us great satisfaction to be building innovative customer relations tools for clients around the world, while being friendly to the planet.”
At Google Cloud, we have a roadmap available to help businesses combine improved sustainability with innovation. This roadmap guides businesses to make IT operations more sustainable by moving workloads to our efficient data centres to take advantage of our renewable energy approach, before extending to leveraging cloud to tackle the challenges facing individual businesses or industries.
Bringing sustainability into a conversation early gives businesses perspective on where to focus technology efficiencies, opportunities or innovations, to achieve the greatest environmental benefit.
Learn more here about building a sustainable business with Google Cloud.