Google Earth Day The LagoonCSR

Google strengthens sustainability initiatives

Tech giant Google lays out updates on its sustainability initiatives in time for this year’s Earth Day. Google previously announced its goal to operate 24/7 on carbon-free energy by 2030.

“This commitment goes beyond being carbon neutral — which we’ve been since 2007 — and matching our operations with 100% renewable energy, which we’ve now done over four consecutive years,” Sundar Picha, CEO, Google and Alphabet, said in a media release. “Within a decade, we aim for every Google data center, cloud region, and office campus to run on clean electricity every hour of every day. And today I’m proud to announce that five of our data center sites — in Denmark, Finland, Iowa, Oklahoma and Oregon — are now operating near or at 90% carbon-free energy.”

Google has committed approximately $4 billion to purchase clean energy from more than 50 wind and solar projects globally through 2034. Last year, many of those projects came online, including hundreds of new wind turbines and hundreds of thousands of solar panels, which are helping to improve carbon-free energy performance at several Google data centers.

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Interpreting Earth’s data

In 2020, Google Arts & Culture and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) launched “Heartbeat of the Earth,” four interactive and educational experiments by artists exploring scientific climate data to make them more understandable by people.

The project added a new set of climate experiments created by artists Giorgia Lupi, Felicity Hammond, Cristina Tarquini, and Sey Min. The project invites people to learn about the climate challenges, air pollution and rising sea levels, among others, through creative data visualizations, and interactive and immersive scenarios that help people easily learn more about these topics.

One of the newest additions to the project is an immersive and durational video collage work by Felicity Hammond, called The Lagoon, depicting an imaginary coastal city slowly submerging in water over 80 years. Over eight minutes, a series of photographs shows the landscape being erased by water until completely submerged. There are also six online animations of the Southeast Asian coastal cities.

Google Doodle

Google’s Earth Day Doodle aims to raise awareness on sustainability. For its annual Earth Day Doodle, Google launched an animated video encouraging everyone to do their part to take care of the planet and plant the seeds together to a brighter future.

The video Doodle tells a story of reforestation and planting trees across generations, showing how everyone doing a small part can lead to a positive impact on the planet. It links to a page that shows a brief description of the concept, a highlight for the Sustainability Collections page launched in honor of Earth Day, and a personal write-up from the Doodler herself Sophie Diao on her creative process developing the Doodle.

“I knew I wanted to create a narrative about the importance of trees, so I started by researching everything I could about reforestation techniques and best practices,” Diao said. “I was inspired by the stories of people who had planted trees when they were very young and cared for them throughout their lives, and people — sometimes as a community, other times working individually — who made it a goal to reforest a place, whether it be one the densest cities in the world or an arid desert that used to be lush and green.”