Google announced today a series of commitments towards greater sustainability efforts in the Middle East and North Africa region, ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP27).
“Climate change is certainly one of the most urgent global challenges today.
The commitments we are making unify Google’s practices, partnerships and products to help foster greater sustainability in the Middle East and North Africa.
COP27 will help us continue to look into new policy measures and corporate commitments that will help Google and other companies reach higher emissions reductions in the next decade,” said Anthony Nakache, Managing Director for Google in the Middle East and North Africa.
The commitments announced cover Google products, funding programs and local partnerships:
Helping people make more sustainable choices through Google products:
• Launch of eco-friendly routing on Google Maps, a feature on Maps that helps users choose the most fuel-efficient route.
Users can specify their vehicle’s engine type — petrol or gas, diesel, hybrid or electric vehicle (EV) — to get the best route and most accurate fuel or energy efficiency estimates.
Eco-friendly routing is expected to launch in Egypt in the coming weeks and in more countries across MENA next year.
• Feature on Google Search in MENA that allows travelers the ability to look for eco-certified hotels and flights with lower carbon emissions in countries across the Middle East & North Africa.
• Launch of “Calling in our Corals”, an online interactive experiment on Google Arts & Culture to help researchers and scientists monitor the state of coral reefs including reefs in Sharm El Sheikh, helping to track illegal mining, noise pollution and measure success at restoration sites.
Egypt is the first Arab country to participate in this initiative. An interactive installation at COP27 will offer visitors the chance to participate in the research and learn about the ecological impact of damaged coral reefs around the world.
The crisis facing the world’s coral reefs is immeasurable and of importance to researchers around the world working on the preservation of our reefs.
Supporting sustainable initiatives in MENA
• $1 million USD Google.org grant to Mercy Corps to mentor 5,000 entrepreneurs in the Middle East & North Africa out of which 1500 of them will focus their efforts on sustainability solutions.
• Sponsoring the “Clima Tech Run 2022” competition organized by Egypt’s Ministry of International Cooperation to support global startups working in the field of climate change.
Google will take part in the selection of the cohort, fund one of the winners and provide the ten selected startups with training to accelerate their business growth.
Livestreams from COP27 will be available on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s YouTube channel which will reach and educate viewers across 100+ countries.
This announcement is the latest in Google’s ongoing commitment to sustainability and builds on the company’s goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2030 by advancing carbon-free energy across its global operations, reducing emissions within its value chain, and addressing its residual emissions with carbon removal and other solutions.
This includes a commitment to operate on 24/7 carbon-free energy across its entire business, including the announced Google Cloud regions in Dammam in Saudi Arabia and Doha in Qatar.
Google has been purchasing renewable energy since 2010, and was the first major company to match 100% of its annual electricity use with renewable energy, which the company has continued to achieve for five consecutive years.