Monday, December 11, 2023

2 New Google Projects Support Sustainable Aviation Fuel and Cloud Sustainability


Google joins the American Express- and Shell-led Sustainable Aviation Fuel program, following a partnership with Deloitte as part of its efforts to become net-zero by 2030.

With ongoing commitments to become more sustainable, Google’s latest efforts see it team up with American Express Global Business Travel (Amex GBT) and Shell Aviation on the Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) program.

The SAF program, initiated by Amex GBT and Shell Aviation last year, aims to offer systemic change in the aviation industry. Initially providing one million gallons of SAF, the program has the capacity to power approximately 15,000 business flights between London and New York.

Decarbonizing the aviation sector

“The use of SAF will play a critical role in helping the aviation sector on its path to decarbonize,” Michael Terrell, senior director of climate and energy at Google, said in a statement. “Joining Amex GBT’s sustainable aviation fuel program further represents Google’s continued efforts to accelerate the global transition to a carbon-free future.”

in a bid to accelerate the aviation sector’s transition to a more sustainable future. This collaboration aligns with Google’s ambitious target of achieving net-zero emissions across its entire operations and value chain by 2030.

air france act
Courtesy Nicolas J Leclercq

Jan Toschka, President of Shell Aviation, emphasized the significance of Google’s involvement. “Considering Google’s stature and prominence this announcement represents an important milestone for decarbonizing aviation,” Toschka said, adding that success will come from an all-encompassing approach, requiring commitment from all elements of the aviation value chain.

Notably, the SAF program is one of the first initiatives of its kind to leverage blockchain technology, driven by Avelia’s digital book-and-claim platform. This innovative system ensures transparent tracking of the SAF’s environmental attributes once integrated into the aviation fueling network.

Andrew Crawley, President of American Express Global Business Travel, noted the crucial role of corporate collaboration in this endeavor. He said, “Business travel is a crucial passenger segment for aviation, accounting for around 15 percent of air travel globally and generating around 40 percent of revenues. To have Google join our growing SAF program demonstrates how corporate collaboration can accelerate aviation’s transition to net zero and enable more sustainable travel.”

Joining this initiative are other corporate titans including Aon, Bank of America, Delta, Cathay Pacific, JetBlue, and Japan Airlines, underlining the cross-sector momentum towards a sustainable aviation future.

Greening the cloud

The news comes after Google Cloud partnered with Deloitte to support organizations in addressing climate change through sustainable solutions and innovative technologies such as generative AI and geospatial data.

This joint initiative is particularly groundbreaking as Deloitte becomes the first global systems integrator to earn the Google Cloud Ready (GCR) Sustainability designation. The accolade marks Deloitte as a leader in leveraging Google Cloud’s technology and platforms to facilitate the corporate shift toward sustainable practices.

Jamie Sawchuk, partner and global sustainability leader for the Alphabet Google alliance at Deloitte Canada, remarked, “We are excited to be working with Google to take purposeful action to help mitigate climate risks, unlock the value of sustainable products and services, build green communities and green jobs and accelerate our progress toward a global net-zero future.”

Renewable wind power,
Renewable wind power | Photo courtesy Efe Kurnaz

The collaboration will feature several innovative solutions, including Deloitte’s Electrified Fleet tool. This product, soon to be accessible via Google Cloud, offers an interactive dashboard that aids organizations in the comprehensive electrification of their vehicle fleets. Furthermore, Google Earth Engine will be employed alongside a global network of financial services firms to utilize geospatial analytics for enhanced visibility into climate-related risks across investment and lending portfolios.

Both companies intend to confront extensive challenges through this sustainability initiative, such as decarbonizing digital business models, fostering sustainable and equitable communities, transitioning to zero-emission energy sources, and scaling sustainable products and services.

Google Cloud has also widened its partnership horizon by joining forces with IPG Mediabrands to create AI-powered platforms that center on brands. Two such pilot platforms, Branded Content Generation (BrandVoice AI) and Audience and Research Insights (BrandPortrait AI), are in the works. Eileen Kiernan, Global CEO of IPG Mediabrands, said, “Not only does this partnership let us leverage market leading technology, but also we are aligned to Google’s responsible approach on data governance which ensures our clients’ information is well protected.”

Moreover, The Knot Worldwide, a wedding planning enterprise, is participating in a tester program for Google’s Duet AI integrated within Google Workspace, offering another layer to Google Cloud’s expanding ecosystem.

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