Author Archives: Ruth Porat

Our support for the Economic Opportunity Coalition

A healthy economy exists only when opportunities to participate are open to everyone. Google has long worked to make that possible through efforts such as our Google Career Certificates, the Grow with Google Small Business Fund and our commitment tosupplier diversity. Core to this work is our belief that progress is best achieved when we partner with others to scale these efforts.

Consistent with that approach, today Google is proud to help launch the Economic Opportunity Coalition, a group dedicated to building an equitable economy. Google intends to work alongside others in the public, private and nonprofit sectors to find ways to help close the racial wealth gap in the United States. The Coalition has identified four focus areas: investing in strengthening community finance organizations, supporting entrepreneurship, improving financial health and addressing infrastructure needs, such as affordable housing.

At Google, we have pioneered solutions to these issues and continue to do so. For example, our $100 million Google Career Certificates Fund focuses on Google’s digital skills training program and introduces a new financing model to provide loans and grants to students through Social Finance, a leading national nonprofit in the field of workforce development. Another example is our funding to Opportunity Finance Network to help Community Development Financial Institutions, which provide capital to underserved small businesses.

Our work in this regard contributes to sustainable economic growth, and the efforts of others in the Coalition will amplify our impact. Building a world in which everyone has access to opportunities will help foster more vibrant economic communities, and we look forward to others joining us in the Economic Opportunity Coalition and contributing to this important work.

Connecting UK businesses with tech talent

Since inception, Google has innovated with technology to narrow the opportunity gap that exists in education, access to information, job mobility and more – for people around the world. We believe sustainable economic growth is only possible when there is inclusive growth, so we work to equip people with the skills needed to participate in the digital economy.

Grow with Google, our digital skills training program, has trained 94 million people around the world, and more than 800,000 people in the U.K. From Grow with Google, we launched Google Career Certificates, which provides job seekers with accessible paths to careers in high-growth sectors, including data analytics, IT support, project management, user experience design and digital marketing. Seventy-eight percent of U.K. Certificate graduates report seeing a positive impact on their career within six months, including a raise or a new job.

Today, we are announcing the creation of a UK Employer Consortium – a group of employers, including the BBC, BT Group, Deloitte and John Lewis Partnership, that will consider those who have earned the Certificates for jobs. We know one entity acting alone will never be as effective as many coming together, and we have long been committed to partnering with others. For example, we’ve worked with organizations like the Department for Work and Pensions and The Prince’s Trust to offer 10,000 scholarships to job seekers to help them complete a Certificate, and beginning today we will be making another 10,000 scholarships available.

We believe the Consortium will play an important part, alongside the U.K.’s focus on higher education, in building a digitally skilled workforce and filling the growing number of open technology roles in the country. Almost half of U.K. employers have reported they are struggling to recruit for digital roles, and the Certificate fields have been chosen specifically in response to the high numbers of open positions in those areas.

Ousman, a Certificate graduate, speaks to members of the Employer Consortium at an event at Google.

Ousman, a Certificate graduate, speaks to members of the Employer Consortium

Google is committed to helping employers from across the U.K. meet amazing people like Jelena Stephenson, who I was fortunate to speak with last year when I met some of the first people in the U.K. to take part in our Certificates program. Jelena worked for 15 years as a teacher in Serbia. After her husband was diagnosed with leukemia, they decided to move to London, where she quickly found that despite her strong background in education, she was unable to get a job as a teacher. After receiving a scholarship for the Googler Career Certificate in Project Management, Jelena regained the confidence she had lost while out of work, and found a role as a digital project coordinator.

I have been proud to see first-hand the progression of our program in the U.K. and the impact it has had on people like Jelena. We look forward to further evolving our program as we continue to build the UK Consortium and connect growing businesses with talented jobseekers.

Investing in Detroit with Ford and Michigan Central

At Google, we believe everyone should have the opportunity to learn the skills needed for today’s most in-demand jobs. Across the country, we are investing in workforce readiness and mentorship programming, and are growing our efforts by partnering with others in the private and public sectors.

Consistent with this, today in Detroit we announced that we will be joining Ford Motor Company as a founding member of Michigan Central. Michigan Central is a new innovation hub where companies, government and community stakeholders will focus on the future of mobility — both in terms of economic opportunity and transportation solutions — in Detroit and beyond. Michigan Central will deploy new urban transportation solutions, workforce development and other tools to tackle the world’s mobility challenges to create opportunities for everyone. This new partnership will bring together the automotive and tech industries to equip job seekers with new skills, mentor high schoolers learning to code and provide critical tools for Michigan Central projects and research.

1. Expanded opportunities to learn digital skills

Since 2017, Grow with Google has trained more than seven million Americans in digital skills. We have trained more than 200,000 Michigan residents, working in partnership with approximately 260 organizations across the state. Beginning today, we will team up with local nonprofits to provide free access to our Google Career Certificates, which help people enter high-growth career fields including data analytics, IT support, project management and user experience design. No prior experience or degree is required, and jobseekers get access to resume templates, coaching and career placement support, mock interview practice and more. 82% of graduates have reported a positive career impact within six months, such as a raise, a promotion or a new job.

There are more than one million U.S. roles open in the Certificate fields. To provide additional job opportunities for our Certificate graduates, we created a network of more than 150 companies, including, Verizon, Deloitte and of course, Google, that are committed to considering Certificate graduates for jobs. Ford will now partner with us to consider new graduates for relevant roles, and will offer current employees the opportunity to participate in the Certificate program.

A woman sits at a laptop while a man in a Grow with Google shirt stands up and talks to her

A Grow with Google training in Michigan.

2. More access to computer science skills for high schoolers

Providing better access to computer science for students, particularly to those from racial and ethnic groups that remain underrepresented in STEM, has been an important part of our work in Michigan. We've previously worked with organizations like the Kapor Center's SMASH Program, Wayne State University and the Detroit Public Schools to provide computer science education and resources to historically underrepresented students in the region.

Now Code Next, our immersive computer science education program for high schoolers ,will provide coaching at a new Code Next Lab in Michigan Central for local Detroit students, so that they can learn and develop the skills needed to pursue further education and careers in technology fields. Code Next focuses on serving Black, Latino, Native American, Native Hawaiian, and Alaska Native students, and nationally, approximately 88% of Code Next graduates have gone on to pursue STEM majors at the higher education level. This Code Next Lab is Google’s first in the Midwest, and will join our other locations in New York and Oakland in offering computer science education programming. The Lab will provide live coaches, state-of-the-art technical equipment and content ranging from Javascript programming to UX design.

3. Powering technology with Google Cloud

In order for the United States to build the next great technologies, people need access to the latest data and digital tools. That’s why we are bringing Google Cloud technology, including our Cloud infrastructure, artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities and data and analytics tools, to Michigan Central to be used on projects and research for future mobility solutions.

The world is in the midst of a digital revolution – cities, mobility, digital tools and the skills people need for their jobs are all changing. It goes without saying that truly effective solutions can come about only through collective efforts, and we are confident our partnership with Michigan Central will enable us to make a difference in the lives of Michigan residents and communities around the world as they navigate these changes.

Investing in Detroit with Ford and Michigan Central

At Google, we believe everyone should have the opportunity to learn the skills needed for today’s most in-demand jobs. Across the country, we are investing in workforce readiness and mentorship programming, and are growing our efforts by partnering with others in the private and public sectors.

Consistent with this, today in Detroit we announced that we will be joining Ford Motor Company as a founding member of Michigan Central. Michigan Central is a new innovation hub where companies, government and community stakeholders will focus on the future of mobility — both in terms of economic opportunity and transportation solutions — in Detroit and beyond. Michigan Central will deploy new urban transportation solutions, workforce development and other tools to tackle the world’s mobility challenges to create opportunities for everyone. This new partnership will bring together the automotive and tech industries to equip job seekers with new skills, mentor high schoolers learning to code and provide critical tools for Michigan Central projects and research.

1. Expanded opportunities to learn digital skills

Since 2017, Grow with Google has trained more than seven million Americans in digital skills. We have trained more than 200,000 Michigan residents, working in partnership with approximately 260 organizations across the state. Beginning today, we will team up with local nonprofits to provide free access to our Google Career Certificates, which help people enter high-growth career fields including data analytics, IT support, project management and user experience design. No prior experience or degree is required, and jobseekers get access to resume templates, coaching and career placement support, mock interview practice and more. 82% of graduates have reported a positive career impact within six months, such as a raise, a promotion or a new job.

There are more than one million U.S. roles open in the Certificate fields. To provide additional job opportunities for our Certificate graduates, we created a network of more than 150 companies, including, Verizon, Deloitte and of course, Google, that are committed to considering Certificate graduates for jobs. Ford will now partner with us to consider new graduates for relevant roles, and will offer current employees the opportunity to participate in the Certificate program.

A woman sits at a laptop while a man in a Grow with Google shirt stands up and talks to her

A Grow with Google training in Michigan.

2. More access to computer science skills for high schoolers

Providing better access to computer science for students, particularly to those from racial and ethnic groups that remain underrepresented in STEM, has been an important part of our work in Michigan. We've previously worked with organizations like the Kapor Center's SMASH Program, Wayne State University and the Detroit Public Schools to provide computer science education and resources to historically underrepresented students in the region.

Now Code Next, our immersive computer science education program for high schoolers ,will provide coaching at a new Code Next Lab in Michigan Central for local Detroit students, so that they can learn and develop the skills needed to pursue further education and careers in technology fields. Code Next focuses on serving Black, Latino, Native American, Native Hawaiian, and Alaska Native students, and nationally, approximately 88% of Code Next graduates have gone on to pursue STEM majors at the higher education level. This Code Next Lab is Google’s first in the Midwest, and will join our other locations in New York and Oakland in offering computer science education programming. The Lab will provide live coaches, state-of-the-art technical equipment and content ranging from Javascript programming to UX design.

3. Powering technology with Google Cloud

In order for the United States to build the next great technologies, people need access to the latest data and digital tools. That’s why we are bringing Google Cloud technology, including our Cloud infrastructure, artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities and data and analytics tools, to Michigan Central to be used on projects and research for future mobility solutions.

The world is in the midst of a digital revolution – cities, mobility, digital tools and the skills people need for their jobs are all changing. It goes without saying that truly effective solutions can come about only through collective efforts, and we are confident our partnership with Michigan Central will enable us to make a difference in the lives of Michigan residents and communities around the world as they navigate these changes.

Expanding pathways into higher education and the workforce

Google believes that to have sustainable economic growth, we must have inclusive growth. It is why we developed the Grow with Google digital skills training program, which provides free training to help individuals grow their careers and businesses. Through our digital skilling programs and Google.org grantees, we have helped put nearly 170,000 Americans into new jobs, and of these, 67% are from underrepresented groups, including 44% women. Our Google Career Certificates, available on Coursera, have helped people enter high-growth career fields including Data Analytics, IT Support, Project Management and User Experience Design. Because we believe that collective action is key to success, we created a network of more than 150 companies who accept the Grow with Google Certificates as credentials for roles, including Walmart, Infosys, Verizon and of course, Google (and we are hiring, by the way!).

Today, we’re announcing an expansion of our Google Career Certificates program, including furthering our partnerships with community colleges, translating our Google Career Certificates into college credit and partnering with four-year universities to prepare students for in-demand jobs.

1. Providing community colleges with free access to Google Career Certificates

Community colleges are critical to workforce development and economic mobility, providing accessible education options for millions of Americans and opening doors to opportunities that would otherwise be out of reach. With 44% of American undergraduates attending community colleges, and as the primary institutions serving students from underrepresented groups, there is no doubt they play an invaluable role across the U.S.

Beginning today, the Google Career Certificate program is free for all community colleges and career and technical education (CTE) high schools to add to their curriculum. We will also be partnering with the American Association of Community Colleges, the primary advocacy group for U.S. community colleges and their 12 million students. All of these schools will now be able to onboard this curriculum for free.

2. Translating our Google Career Certificates into college credit

All our Google Career Certificates are now recommended by the American Council on Education for up to 12 college credits (the equivalent to four college courses). For the more than 36 million Americans who have some post-secondary education but no college degree, Google Career Certificates can help provide an affordable on-ramp back to earning their diploma.

3. Partnering with four-year universities to prepare students for in-demand jobs

We are also partnering with four-year universities that are accepting credit for the Google Career Certificates, including Northeastern, Purdue Global, Arizona State University and SUNY, to help increase earning potential and provide students with direct pathways to jobs. For example, a psychology major who acquires data analysis skills can unlock more than 100,000 additional entry-level jobs paying on average $60,000, versus $39,000 for psychology majors overall.

What inspires us to do this work are the real-life stories we hear every day. Like Chelsea Rucker, who was struggling to make ends meet before she took the Google IT Support Certificate through our grantee Goodwill and got a job at Google. Or Natalie Burns, who, while attending community college in Texas, earned her IT certificate and got a job in cybersecurity with a salary three times higher than her previous retail role. These are the stories that drive us, and we will continue to help people develop the digital skills they need to participate in this economy, and gain confidence that they have valuable options for their future.

Bringing COP26 to people everywhere

This November at COP26, global leaders will meet in Glasgow to discuss how to jointly address the challenge of climate change. Recent research has found that more than 70% of the global population is concerned or fearful about climate change. So we’re focused on making this year’s conference accessible to everyone. In partnership with the COP26 Presidency, we’ll livestream the activities through YouTube and Google Arts and Culture, helping COP26 expand the reach of its digital channels. YouTube creators at the conference will create content to share with their global audiences, and we’ll publish video, imagery and artworks from “the green zone” — the center of COP26 activity — via a new page on Google Arts and Culture, inviting people everywhere to learn about the discussions and activities taking place.

"I'm delighted COP26 is partnering with Google to help bring the Green Zone of COP26 to the world in a few days’ time,” COP President-Designate Alok Sharma said. “With more than 200 captivating and diverse events on offer we want everyone to have the opportunity to learn more about climate action and help protect our planet."

Our work at COP26 is part of our larger third decade of climate action strategy. We’re not only committed to be more sustainable in how Google operates as a business, but we’re also focused on building new technologies to make sure that partners, enterprise customers and the billions of people who use Google products every day can be more sustainable as well.

How we’re leading at Google

At Google, our goal is to achieve net zero emissions across all of our operations and value chain by 2030. We aim to reduce the majority of our emissions (versus our 2019 baseline) before 2030, and plan to invest in nature-based and technology-based carbon removal solutions to neutralize our remaining emissions.

We were the first major company to operate as carbon neutral in 2007, and have matched our energy use with 100 percent renewable energy for four years in a row. Last year we set a moonshot goal to operate on 24/7 carbon-free energy by 2030 for all of our data centers and campuses. That means that by the end of the decade, we aim to deliver every search, every email, and every YouTube video without emitting carbon. We’re making strong progress — in 2020 we achieved 67% carbon-free energy on an hourly basis across our data centers, up from 61% in 2019. Five of our data centers, including those in Denmark and Finland, are at or near 90% carbon-free energy.

On our campuses we’re investing in sustainable energy innovations, like dragonscale solar and geothermal pilings, to get us closer to our goal to be carbon-free by 2030. We hope these new technologies will inspire similar projects from others that advance sustainability without compromising design and aesthetics.

How we’re enabling our partners

Urban areas are currently responsible for 70% of the world’s carbon emissions. Last year we pledged to help more than 500 cities reduce one gigaton of carbon emissions per year by 2030 via Google’s Environmental Insights Explorer (EIE). EIE is helping major cities, including Amsterdam, Birmingham UK and Copenhagen, map their emissions data, solar potential, and air quality for their remediation plans.

Technology can also help cities decarbonize in more direct ways. We recently shared an early research project that is deploying AI to help cities make their traffic lights more efficient, and we have a pilot program in Israel accomplishing this. So far, we have seen a 10-20% reduction in fuel consumption and delay time at intersections. We’re excited to expand this pilot to Rio de Janeiro and beyond.

Finally, we’re helping business customers like Whirlpool, Etsy, HSBC, Unilever and Salesforce develop solutions for the specific climate change challenges they face. Unilever is working with the power of Google Cloud and satellite imagery through Google Earth Engine to help avoid deforestation in their supply chain. At Cloud Next, we launched Carbon Footprint, a tool that helps large and small businesses understand their gross carbon emissions associated with the electricity of their Google Cloud Platform usage. This new information will help companies track progress toward their own climate targets.

How we’re aiming to empower everyone

In addition to businesses, increasingly individuals are focused on what more they can do to help the planet. That’s why we committed to help 1 billion people make more sustainable choices by 2022 through Google’s products and services. Recently, we shared several new ways people can use Google’s products to make sustainable choices — from choosing eco-friendly routes and searching for greener flights, hotels, and appliances to supporting clean energy from home with Nest and surfacing authoritative information on climate change from sources like the United Nations.

Google’s goal is to make the sustainable choice an easier choice — for governments, businesses, and individuals. We look forward to a carbon-free future and are excited to continue the conversation at COP26.

Continuing to support small businesses

Google’s work to address broad societal issues, such as climate change and digital skilling, focuses on creating solutions that are scalable and replicable by others. We believe solutions to global issues are most effective when the private sector, governments, nonprofits and academia come together to reinforce each other’s efforts. At Google, we focus on where we can best contribute to help make those efforts successful.

One example of this is the approach we have taken with Opportunity Finance Network (OFN), a network of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). At the beginning of the pandemic, we announced the creation of the Grow with Google Small Business Fund and committed $130 million in loans and grants. Our shared goal with OFN is to help CDFIs and small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in the United States access funding they need to grow. The more than 30 million small businesses in the U.S. are the backbone of the economy and employ nearly half of the private workforce. Importantly, CDFIs focus on SMBs often overlooked by traditional lenders, serving people of color, those with low income, SMBs in rural areas and women. We subsequently increased our commitment and allocated an additional $50 million to support SMBs in the Black community. We were motivated by our conviction that economic growth is sustainable only if it is truly inclusive.

Today, I spoke at OFN’s annual conference and was proud to share that Google has, to date, placed more than 90% of our $180 million commitment. In addition, I announced a new $5 million Google.org grant to OFN to help CDFIs use technologies that support their small business lending, allowing them to scale and innovate as they work to meet the needs of the communities they serve.

We are excited about the work that we have led with OFN to help small businesses in overlooked communities, but we recognize that we are just one piece of a much larger puzzle. As is true with a lot of our work, our greatest impact lies in motivating others to join us, and we are proud that several other companies have made commitments to OFN and the CDFI ecosystem over the past year. We look forward to working alongside even more companies in the future and are hopeful that others will see this momentum and be inspired by it as we are.

Increasing Google’s investment in New York

Google has been fortunate to call New York City home for more than 20 years, during which time we have grown to 12,000 employees. New York’s vitality, creativity and world-class talent are what keep us rooted here. It is why we’re announcing today that we are deepening our commitment to New York and intend to purchase the St. John’s Terminal in Manhattan for $2.1 billion, which will serve as the anchor of our new Hudson Square campus. 

As Google moves toward a more flexible hybrid approach to work, coming together in person to collaborate and build community will remain an important part of our future. It is why we continue investing in our offices around the world. Our decision to exercise our option to purchase St. John’s Terminal further builds upon our existing plans to invest more than $250 million this year in our New York campus presence. It is also an important part of meeting our previously announced racial equity commitments, which include continuing to grow our workforce in diverse communities like New York.

The St. John’s Terminal site at 550 Washington Street, which we currently lease and expect to open by mid-2023, will be one part of the already sizable investment we’ve made in New York — Google’s largest office outside California. We’ve made substantial progress in building out our 1.7 million-square-foot Hudson Square campus that will serve as the New York headquarters for our Global Business Organization, which includes our sales and partnership teams. The St. John’s Terminal transaction will close in the first quarter of 2022.

St. John’s Terminal is a former freight facility that is being reimagined into a highly sustainable, adaptable and connected building. Its biophilic design connecting people more closely to nature will add numerous outdoor open spaces and reconnect the Hudson Square neighborhood to the waterfront. The building will also offset 100% of its carbon in support of Google’s ambitious carbon goals. 

A rendering of Google's Hudson Square campus, overlooking the water and the city skyline.

The development’s biophilic design will feature numerous outdoor spaces (credit: COOKFOX Architects)

Construction is also proceeding at Pier 57, which we expect will be completed next year. This space will provide new opportunities for us to engage with our community neighbors, and will include office space occupied by Google, a public food hall, community space, galleries, the city’s largest public rooftop space and educational and environmental programs run by the Hudson River Park Trust.

We know that like many places around the world, New York has been significantly impacted by the pandemic, and we’re extremely focused on helping local communities, organizations and people emerge stronger from this crisis. For example, since 2005, Google has provided over $170 million in grant funding to nonprofits in New York. In the Hudson Square neighborhood in particular, we’re supporting the new Jackie Robinson Museum opening next year with a grant to help deliver new educational programming for students. We’ve also provided grant funding to the Children’s Museum of the Arts to help launch new digital programming for childhood arts education and to God’s Love We Deliver to offer free nutritious meals and services for those living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other serious illnesses.

We also continue to invest in nurturing the next generation of tech talent and ensuring New Yorkers have equitable access to quality education, training and resources. Our Grow with Google programs are helping to create new pathways to in-demand tech jobs for people most impacted by the pandemic. Through Google’s skilling programs, more than 3,800 New Yorkers have completed a certificate program to date. We are working with select CUNY/SUNY Schools to add Google Certificates to their curriculum as part of the SUNY for All free online training program.

These investments we are making in our NYC campus presence will give us the capacity to grow our workforce in the city to more than 14,000 employees in the coming years, and we look forward to continuing to be an active part of New York City’s vibrant community.

Our 2020 environmental report

Today, we released our 2020 Environmental Report that outlines how we’re reducing the environmental footprint of our operations and working to help people everywhere live more sustainably. 

This work has been part of Google’s DNA since our founding in 1998. Part of our culture after we’ve hit a milestone is to ask ourselves “what more can we do?”, and we are applying that to our climate objectives. So for example, after becoming carbon neutral in 2007 — the first major company to do so — we later set a goal to match 100% of our electricity consumption with renewable energy and accomplished that for the first time in 2017. 

We’re proud of the environmental work we’ve done. Our recent achievements include: 

We’re in the early innings of this fight. That’s why we’ve committed to building upon this solid foundation with our most audacious set of goals yet, which we announced in September. By 2030, we’re aiming to operate on 24/7 carbon-free energy and add 5 GW of carbon-free energy through investments across key manufacturing regions. We’re also keenly focused on empowering people and communities to take action. By 2022, we aim to help 1 billion people make more sustainable choices through our products (think bike shares and electric charging stations listed on Google Maps), and by 2030 we plan to help more than 500 cities and local governments reduce a total of 1 gigaton of carbon emissions annually.

It’s critical to regularly track our environmental commitments and share updates with stakeholders. Data and transparency are important markers of the progress we’re all making to protect our planet, so we’ll continue to publish reports like this one and our Supplier Responsibility Report.

We are committed to leading the fight against climate change and will keep working to help people, cities and governments make important choices that will result in positive change.