Tag Archives: Sustainability

Cleaner data centers, batteries included

On the rare occasions when a Google data center is affected by a power outage, we have to be ready to ramp up millions of watts of backup electricity in seconds. This is a daunting challenge, which our industry has typically met using diesel generators. But now we’re aiming to demonstrate that a better, cleaner solution has advanced far enough to keep the internet up and running. 

In Belgium, we’ll soon install the first ever battery-based system for replacing generators at a hyperscale data center. In the event of a power disruption, the system will help keep our users’ searches, e-mails, and videos on the move—without the pollution associated with burning diesel. 

But even more important is what will happen when Google doesn’t need emergency power. Whereas diesel generators sit idle most of the year, batteries are multi-talented team players: when we’re not using them, they’ll be available as an asset that strengthens the broader electric grid. 

Worldwide, we estimate there are over 20 gigawatts of backup diesel generators in service across the data center industry, representing a massive opportunity to deploy cleaner solutions. Our project in Belgium is a first step that we hope will lay the groundwork for a big vision: a world in which backup systems at data centers go from climate change problems to critical components in carbon-free energy systems. 

How data centers can anchor carbon-free electric grids

Wind and solar power are currently booming around the world, but sunny days and breezy hours don’t always align with a community's energy demand. Large-scale batteries at data centers can address this problem by banking renewable power when it’s abundant, and discharging it when it’s needed. Batteries can also help balance other kinds of variability on power grids, allowing for more cost-effective and efficient operations. Working in partnership with ELIA, the local transmission system operator in Belgium, we’ll strive to make our project a model for how data centers can become anchors for carbon-free electric grids.

Gif demonstrating data center energy storage

In fact, one reason we chose Belgium as the site for our project is because the local team already has a track record of implementing novel energy ideas. It was the first facility in our global fleet to run entirely without mechanical chillers—one of many reasons that the European Commission recognized it as a top performer for energy efficiency. It’s also the place where we’ve integrated our largest on-site renewable energy installation—more than 10,000 solar panels strong.

Toward a carbon-free world

We’ve been working for years to push Google toward a zero-carbon future--from our achievement of carbon neutrality since 2007, to reaching 100 percent renewable energy every year since 2017, and now pursuing our most ambitious goal yet, 24/7 carbon-free electricity by 2030. Our new battery project will help us operate more cleanly when the power grid goes down, and help the grid itself move towards a carbon-free future.

You can hear more about our broader efforts in Episode 4 of Google’s just-released podcast, "Where the Internet Lives," which gives an inside look at how data centers can lead on clean energy in a world confronting climate change.

Our data centers support Europe’s green economic recovery

In 2020, families, schools and businesses moved online more than ever due to the pandemic. All the Google services you rely on are powered by our data centres, and we’ve had to ensure this infrastructure works for everyone as demand increased—for businesses using Google Cloud and Google Meet, and for anyone who asks a question on Search, watches a YouTube video, or uses Google Maps to get from A to B. 

In the last few weeks, we’ve added new infrastructure to Europe that supports the continent’s digital growth. Last month in Hamina, Finland, we were delighted to welcome Prime Minister Sanna Marin as she visited the construction site of our sixth data center building. Last week, we opened a new data center in Denmark in Fredericia. And just this week in the Netherlands, our second Dutch data center started its operation in Middenmeer.

A European green transition, powered by sustainable infrastructure

We’re proud that our data centers operate the cleanest cloud in the industry. They are on average twice as energy efficient as a typical enterprise data center. Compared to five years ago, we now deliver around seven times as much computing power with the same amount of electrical power. 

Last week Europe announced its ambitious55 percent reduction target for CO2 emissions by 2030, in addition to its 32 percent renewable energy target. Google is helping to accelerate this transition, having supported nearly 1,700 megawatts of new renewable energy projects in Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and the Netherlands. And we are committed to supporting the EU Climate Pact, as technology will have a critical role to play in making the EU Green Deal vision a reality.

Taking the world’s greenest data center fleet to the next level

Our AI technology helps reduce the energy we use to cool our data centers by 30 percent, and we make it available for use by airports, shopping malls, hospitals, data centers and other commercial buildings and industrial facilities. 
But we’re not stopping there. A few months ago, we announced our Third Decade of Climate Action: an ambitious plan to help build a carbon-free future and operate on clean energy around the clock. This is far more challenging than the traditional approach of matching energy usage with renewable energy, but we’re working to get this done in the next nine years.

Contributing to European growth with our (new) data centers

In addition to enabling the greenest, cleanest cloud, all these sites bring economic growth and employment to local communities and to Europe. In Finland, our data center has brought €1.2 billion in investment and supported 1700 jobs every year since 2009. During construction of our Denmark data center, we spent over €600 million and supported 2600 jobs. And in the Netherlands, we’ve directly invested €2.5 billion since 2014.

In the next five years, we expect to anchor €2 billion in new carbon-free energy generation projects and green infrastructure in Europe, helping to develop new technologies to make round-the-clock carbon-free energy cheaper and more widely available. 

Investing in our local communities

Partnerships at the local level make all the difference to communities. We have long worked with local NGOs in our data center communities and have donated millions to important initiatives in Europe, including skills training in cooperation with local colleges and universities. 

We have supported multiple education programmes focused on STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths), as well as environmental and cultural projects. For example, in Denmark we recently supported two projects with the Museum Fredericia that will promote local history through virtual experiences. In the Netherlands, we’ve helped with the preservation of local bee and butterfly populations. And in Ireland, during COVID-19, we’ve assisted vulnerable communities, and have given grants to local schools to provide students with laptops and enable home schooling.

We are proud to invest in Europe’s digital infrastructure, contribute to the local communities we operate in and support Europe’s green transition. This will be a decisive decade, and we are committed to leading by example.

A new podcast explores the unseen world of data centers

Do you ever wonder where it all comes from? The words you’re reading right now, the music you stream or the program your kids use to do their homework? All that stuff can’t be just floating around in space ... can it? The internet has to live somewhere, right? 

Right. Every click you make online reaches across vast distances to retrieve information from racks of powerful computers inside some of the most secure buildings in the world. And then whatever you’re seeking appears in an instant. Even for the people who keep the machines running, the process feels like nothing short of magic. These buildings—where the Internet lives—are called data centers. Each data center exists in a real place, operated by real people in communities like Bridgeport, Alabama and Changhua County, Taiwan.

An animated GIF showing the logo of Where the Internet Lives.

Even at Google, only about one percent of employees ever get to set foot inside a data center. So to demystify these warehouse-scale computing facilities, a small team of Googlers and I spent the last year exploring them. Through the process, we got to know the people who design, build, operate and secure these buildings. We connected with outside experts and community members whose lives intersect with this infrastructure that keeps the digital economy moving. And today, we’re releasing the result of all this work: a new six-episode podcast called Where the Internet Lives.

As you listen, you’ll get a rare glimpse behind the walls and through multiple layers of security, literally going inside the machines that power the internet, guided by the people who keep them humming.

Along the way, you’ll learn how data centers work, what they mean to the communities that host them, the reasons data centers are some of the most secure buildings in the world and how efforts to operate data centers on 24/7 clean energy are transforming electrical grids across the globe.

Subscribe to the podcast now to be transported—at nearly the speed of light—to Where the Internet Lives. 

Click through the images below to read episode descriptions and take a peek at the engineering marvels that are today’s data centers.

Rachel Malarich is planting a better future, tree by tree

Everyone has a tree story, Rachel Malarich says—and one of hers takes place on the limbs of a eucalyptus tree. Rachel and her cousins spent summers in central California climbing the 100-foot tall trees and hanging out between the waxy blue leaves—an experience she remembers as awe-inspiring. 

Now, as Los Angeles first-ever City Forest Officer, Rachel’s work is shaping the tree stories that Angelenos will tell. “I want our communities to go to public spaces and feel that sense of awe,” she says. “That feeling that something was there before them, and it will be there after them...we have to bring that to our cities.”

Part of Rachel’s job is to help the City of Los Angeles reach an ambitious goal: to plant and maintain 90,000 trees by the end of 2021 and to keep planting trees at a rate of 20,000 per year after that. This goal is about more than planting trees, though: It’s about planting the seeds for social, economic and environmental equity. These trees, Rachel says, will help advance citywide sustainability and climate goals, beautify neighborhoods, improve air quality and create shade to combat rising street-level temperatures. 

To make sure every tree has the most impact, Rachel and the City of Los Angeles use Tree Canopy Lab, a tool they helped build with Google that uses AI and aerial imagery to understand current tree cover density, also known as “tree canopy,” right down to street-level data. Tree inventory data, which is typically collected through on-site assessments, helps city officials know where to invest resources for maintaining, preserving and planting trees. It also helps pinpoint where new trees should be planted. In the case of LA, there was a strong correlation between a lack of tree coverage and the city's underserved communities. 

With Tree Canopy Lab, Rachel and her team overlay data, such as population density and land use data, to understand what’s happening within the 500 square miles of the city and understand where new trees will have the biggest impact on a community. It helps them answer questions like: Where are highly populated residential areas with low tree coverage? Which thoroughfares that people commute along every day have no shade? 

And it also helps Rachel do what she has focused her career on: creating community-led programs. After more than a decade of working at nonprofits, she’s learned that resilient communities are connected communities. 

“This data helps us go beyond assumptions and see where the actual need is,” Rachel says. “And it frees me up to focus on what I know best: listening to the people of LA, local policy and urban forestry.” 

After working with Google on Tree Canopy Lab, she’s found that data gives her a chance to connect with the public. She now has a tool that quickly pools together data and creates a visual to show community leaders what’s happening in specific neighborhoods, what the city is doing and why it’s important. She can also demonstrate ways communities can better manage resources they already have to achieve local goals. And that’s something she thinks every city can benefit from. 

“My entrance into urban forestry was through the lens of social justice and economic inequity. For me, it’s about improving the quality of life for Angelenos,” Rachel says. “I’m excited to work with others to create that impact on a bigger level, and build toward the potential for a better environment in the future.”

And in this case, building a better future starts with one well planned tree at a time.

Source: Google LatLong


Creating new tree shade with the power of AI and aerial imagery

Most of us have heard the timeless proverb, "The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” Worldwide, there is growing discussion in cities about planting more trees as policymakers and neighbors look to increase shade on warming city streets.

Extreme temperatures are becoming more common in cities where concrete and infrastructure are now creating heat islands—areas that experience higher temperatures, leading to poor air quality, dehydration and other public health concerns. Trees are increasingly seen as a solution to both lowering street-level temperatures while improving quality of life. Yet many cities may not have the budget or resources to locate where every tree in town is, or where new tree-planting efforts are most needed.

With our new Tree Canopy Lab we are combining AI and aerial imagery to help cities see their current tree canopy coverage and plan future tree planting projects, starting with the City of Los Angeles. 

With the Tree Canopy Lab you can see Los Angeles’s trees with local context, like what percentage of a neighborhood has leafy cover, an area’s population density, what areas are vulnerable to extreme heat, and which neighborhood councils can help get new roots in the ground.

Tree Canopy lab is in our Environmental Insights Explorer platform, a tool that makes it easier for cities to measure, plan and reduce carbon emissions and pollution. It’s also one step forward in part our commitment to help hundreds of local governments fight climate change.


Tree Canopy Lab on a desktop device

Anyone can access the Tree Canopy Lab from a tablet or personal computer

Mapping tree cover to seed new urban forestry efforts

With aerial imagery collected from planes during the spring, summer and fall seasons, as well as Google AI and Google Earth Engine’s data analysis capabilities, we can now pinpoint all the trees in a city and measure their density. The imagery we use for these calculations includes color photos that closely represent how we would see a city from the sky. To get even more detailed information about the city’s canopy cover, near-infrared photos detect colors and details that human eyes can’t see and compare images from different angles to create a height map.

See tree cover in Los Angeles with Tree Canopy Lab

See tree cover in Los Angeles with Tree Canopy Lab

We then use a specialized tree-detection AI that automatically scans the images, detects the presence of trees and then produces a map that shows the density of tree cover, also known as “tree canopy.” 

With this tool, the City of Los Angeles doesn’t have to rely on expensive and time-intensive manual tree studies which can involve block-by-block tree surveys, outdated records, or incomplete studies which only count trees in public spaces.

From policymakers to neighbors, anyone can explore Los Angeles in the Tree Canopy Lab and glean insights. For example, the lab can help anyone identify residential blocks with high tree planting potential and locate sidewalks that are vulnerable to higher temperatures due to low canopy coverage.

Tree Canopy Lab's AI scans aerial images, detects the presence of trees and then produces a map that shows the density of tree cover

Tree Canopy Lab's AI scans aerial images, detects the presence of trees and then produces a map that shows the density of tree cover

With Tree Canopy Lab we’ve found that more than 50 percent of Angelenos live in areas with less than 10 percent tree canopy coverage and 44 percent of Angelenos live in areas with extreme heat risk. We also see a correlation that shows parts of Los Angeles with the lowest heat risk also have the highest tree canopy coverage — these areas are also the lowest population density of Angelenos.


Connecting cities with new environmental insights

Los Angeles has been on the forefront of cities using urban forestry to not only advance sustainability goals, but to beautify neighborhoods, improve air quality and bring down street-level temperatures as the region gets hotter due to climate change.

With a near-term goal of planting and maintaining 90,000 trees by 2021 and continuing to plant trees at a rate of 20,000 per year across a city of more than 503 square miles, the Tree Canopy Lab is already helping people across the city reach this goal. From neighbors and community organizations to Mayor Eric Garcetti and the city’s first-ever forestry officer, Rachel Malarich, they all have access to a birds-eye view of where the city’s existing trees are and which areas need more greenery. 


“Every tree we plant can help stem the tide of the climate crisis, and when we expand our urban forest, we can sow the seeds of a healthier, more sustainable and equitable future for communities hit hardest by rising temperatures and intensifying heat waves. Google’s technology will help us bring the power of trees to families and households across Los Angeles -- adding greenery to our public spaces, injecting beauty into our city, and bringing cooler temperatures to our neighborhoods.” 

-Mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti


More tree insights for more cities on the horizon

We’ll be making the insights in Tree Canopy Lab available to hundreds of more cities in the year to come as we continue to support the ambitious work cities like Los Angeles are doing to embark on tree planting and maintenance initiatives. 


We invite city planners and policymakers to reach out to kickstart a conversation with us sharing their interest through this form.

Source: Google LatLong


Introducing Google News Initiative Conversations

This year, the way many of us work has changed dramatically. We’ve gone from lunch meetings and large networking conferences to meeting virtually from our makeshift home offices. The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly upended a lot of this, but that doesn’t mean sharing ideas is on hold, too. That’s especially true for the Google News Initiative team; our commitment to helping journalism thrive is still just as strong. 

That’s why we’ve launched Google News Initiative Conversations, a new video series in which we bring together industry experts and our partners from around the world to discuss the successes, challenges and opportunities facing the news industry. Since March 2018, the GNI has worked with more than 6,250 news partners in 118 countries, several of which are featured in the series.

Over the course of four episodes, we cover the themes of business sustainability, quality journalism, diversity, equity and inclusion and a look ahead to 2021 from a global perspective. Take a look at what the series has to offer:

Sustaining the News Industry, featuring: 

Miki King, Chief Marketing Officer of the Washington Post
Gary Liu, CEO of the South China Morning Post
Tara Lajumoke, Managing Director of FT Strategies
Megan Brownlow and Simon Crerar talk about local journalism in Australia.

Quality Journalism, featuring: 

Claire Wardle, U.S. Director, First Draft
Surabhi Malik and Syed Nazakat of FactShala India

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, featuring: 

Soledad O’Brien, CEO of Soledad O’Brien Productions
Drew Christie, Chair of BCOMS - the Black Collective of Media in U.K. Sport
Bryan Pollard, Associate Director of Native American Journalists Association
Kalhan Rosenblatt, Youth and Internet Culture Reporter at NBC News
Tania Montalvo, General Editor at Animal Político, Mexico 
Zack Weiner, President of Overtime

Innovation and the Future of News, featuring: 

Brad Bender, VP of Product at Google interviewed by broadcaster Tina Daheley  
Charlie Beckett, Professor in the Dept of Media and Communication at LSE
Agnes Stenborn, Responsible Data and AI Specialist
Christina Elmer, Editorial RnD at Der Spiegel

It’s uncertain when we’ll get to gather together in person again, but until then, we’ll continue learning, collaborating and innovating as we work towards a better future for news.

Our next steps on the journey to sustainable hardware

As we continue to experience the effects of climate change across the world and in our own backyards, being responsible for our impact on the environment and in our community is essential. Earlier this year, Google announced our climate action plan for the next decade, our most ambitious yet. And today, we want to tell you about our progress and share additional sustainability goals that Google’s consumer hardware team is committed to. 


More sustainable products 

Last year, consumer hardware made public our ambition to leave people, the planet and our communities better than we found them. We committed that all of our products would include recycled materials by 2022.

We hit that goal early: This year all of the new Pixel and Nest products are designed with recycled material.

The back housing (or the back cover) of the recently launched Pixel 5 is made with 100 percent recycled aluminum. This is our first phone to incorporate recycled aluminum, which not only eliminates the use of mined aluminum in the enclosure and reduces waste, it also lowers the carbon footprint of manufacturing the enclosure by 35 percent compared to using virgin aluminum. The new Nest Audio contains 70 percent recycled plastic across its enclosure parts including the acoustic fabric, and is covered in the same sustainable fabric that we first introduced with Nest Mini last year. And for our latest Nest Thermostat, we made the trim plate from 75 percent post-consumer recycled plastic. Google's focus on incorporating recycled materials in our hardware design not only supports our sustainability commitments, but also enables our supply chain partners to confidently invest in and develop these types of materials so that the wider consumer electronics industry can use them too.


Fifty percent recycled or renewable material by 2025 

We’re now even more confident that recycling plastic waste and preventing it from polluting the environment is an achievable goal. We’re updating our original goal and committing to using recycled or renewable material in at least 50 percent of all plastic used across all our hardware products by 2025, prioritizing recycled plastic everywhere we can. Our new 50 percent commitment raises the bar well beyond industry standards. We hope this is a milestone on the path to a future where we design out waste and pollution and keep materials in use longer. 


“Zero Waste to Landfill” certification 

While it’s critical for the materials that go into a product to be sustainable, what happens to the waste material created in a product’s manufacturing process is equally important. Waste is generated at all layers of a supply chain and while we’re working toward understanding each layer of the process and how we can combat waste, to get things started we’re committing to achieving UL 2799 Zero Waste to Landfill certificationat all final assembly manufacturing sites by 2022. This certification means that the vast majority of waste from those operations will be recycled. 


Plastic-free packaging by 2025

We’ll continue to keep all shipping of Made by Google hardware to and from our direct customers 100 percent carbon neutral. And we want to take things a step further by ensuring that the product box itself is sustainable and recyclable, removing headaches for the recyclers who process it. So by 2025, we’re committing to making our product packaging 100 percent plastic free and 100 percent recyclable. We’ve already made a reduction in plastic use in our packaging since 2016, but we have a lot of hard work ahead in order to meet this new goal. To get us there, we need to uncover alternative, recyclable materials that will still protect our products. It’ll take partnering with our suppliers, tinkering in the lab and sharing learnings across the industry, but we’ll get there. 

We’ve invested in integrating sustainability into our products, operations and communities—it’s not just part of how we do business, but the centerpiece of it. Our new commitments are the next step, and we plan on pushing ourselves and the industry forward even more in the coming months and years. 

The new Nest Thermostat: more energy savings for more people

Nest launched its first smart thermostat almost ten years ago, bringing energy savings to people’s homes in a sleek, beautiful design. Today we’re continuing that tradition with the Nest Thermostat, an easy to use, energy-saving thermostat that you can control from anywhere with the Google Home app. It can even monitor your heating and cooling system and detect potential issues early, all for just $129. 


We built this thermostat because people want to use less energy at home, whether to save money or help the environment. But most people are still using the decades-old thermostat that came with their house. To many, smart thermostats still seem too expensive—something that would be nice to have, but not something for their home. So we set out to change that—here’s what you can expect from the new Nest Thermostat.  

More ways to help you save energy

Saving energy is the biggest reason people consider upgrading from a programmable thermostat, and the new Nest Thermostat can help find ways to save that aren’t possible with your traditional one.


Quick Schedule (found in the Home app) lets you set a custom temperature at different times and on different days, and it even offers suggested pre-set temperatures that balance comfort and energy saving. You can adjust your settings anytime from the app. 


With Savings Finder, Nest Thermostat is constantly looking for small optimizations that will help you save energy in your home. It proactively suggests small tweaks to your schedule that you can accept using the Home app. For example, it might suggest a small change to your sleep temperature to help aid sleep while saving you more on energy. 


Finally, the Nest Thermostat can help you avoid heating or cooling an empty house. It uses Soli technology for motion sensing and your phone’s location to check if you’ve left the house and automatically sets itself to an Eco temperature so you don’t waste energy when you’re not there. 

Easy to install, set-up and use

You can install your own Nest Thermostat in 30 minutes or less. It works in the majority of houses, and you can check if it works in your home before purchasing with our online Compatibility Checker. And in addition to the Home app, you can also control the thermostat with your voice using Google Assistant on your Nest speaker or display, or with Alexa on other smart devices.
Person using Nest Thermostat

Nest Thermostat gets rid of the hard-to-read screen and tiny buttons on traditional thermostats. You can swipe and tap the side of the thermostat to manually adjust the temperature.

Clean, simple and sustainable design

The Nest Thermostat has a sleek design and comes in a variety of colors to complement any home: Snow, Charcoal, Sand and Fog. And while we know some people will want to do their own touch-up painting when they remove their old thermostat, we’re now offering a Nest Thermostat Trim Kit, designed to cover any imperfections on the wall in perfectly matched Nest Thermostat colors. 

Nest Thermostat in four colors

The Nest Thermostat is also designed with recycled materials, continuing our commitment to sustainability. Its plastic parts contain 49 percent recycled post-consumer plastic, and the Trim Kit is made from 75 percent recycled post-consumer plastic.

Helpful alerts to keep an eye on your heating and cooling system

Homeowners know how critical heating and cooling systems are, and if they break, they can be expensive to replace. With HVAC monitoring, your Nest Thermostat looks out for potential issues to make sure everything’s running smoothly with your HVAC system. 


If your Nest Thermostat notices that something’s not right, it sends an alert via the Home app or email. From there, you can schedule a visit from a qualified technician through our partner Handy to find someone in your area with preferred pricing, flexible online scheduling and money-back guarantee. This feature will start rolling out to all eligible Nest thermostats in the U.S. and Canada later this month with the ability to book a pro available in most markets.

Get a Nest Thermostat for less 

Like our other thermostats, the Nest Thermostat qualifies for energy efficiency rebates from utility providers across the country, making it possible to get one for even less. You can check for eligible rebates and offers through the Google Store in the rebate checker. And depending on your utility, you may be able to purchase a Nest Thermostat with the rebate applied at checkout on Google store or on your utility marketplace.

Where and when

You can pre-order the Nest Thermostat starting today, and it will be available in the coming weeks for $129.99 in the U.S. and $179.99 in Canada on the Google Store and select retailers, including Best Buy and Home Depot, with the Trim Kit sold separately at those same locations ($14.99 in the U.S. and $19.99 in Canada). 

The new Nest Thermostat: more energy savings for more people

Nest launched its first smart thermostat almost ten years ago, bringing energy savings to people’s homes in a sleek, beautiful design. Today we’re continuing that tradition with the Nest Thermostat, an easy to use, energy-saving thermostat that you can control from anywhere with the Google Home app. It can even monitor your heating and cooling system and detect potential issues early, all for just $129. 


We built this thermostat because people want to use less energy at home, whether to save money or help the environment. But most people are still using the decades-old thermostat that came with their house. To many, smart thermostats still seem too expensive—something that would be nice to have, but not something for their home. So we set out to change that—here’s what you can expect from the new Nest Thermostat.  

More ways to help you save energy

Saving energy is the biggest reason people consider upgrading from a programmable thermostat, and the new Nest Thermostat can help find ways to save that aren’t possible with your traditional one.


Quick Schedule (found in the Home app) lets you set a custom temperature at different times and on different days, and it even offers suggested pre-set temperatures that balance comfort and energy saving. You can adjust your settings anytime from the app. 


With Savings Finder, Nest Thermostat is constantly looking for small optimizations that will help you save energy in your home. It proactively suggests small tweaks to your schedule that you can accept using the Home app. For example, it might suggest a small change to your sleep temperature to help aid sleep while saving you more on energy. 


Finally, the Nest Thermostat can help you avoid heating or cooling an empty house. It uses Soli technology for motion sensing and your phone’s location to check if you’ve left the house and automatically sets itself to an Eco temperature so you don’t waste energy when you’re not there. 

Easy to install, set-up and use

You can install your own Nest Thermostat in 30 minutes or less. It works in the majority of houses, and you can check if it works in your home before purchasing with our online Compatibility Checker. And in addition to the Home app, you can also control the thermostat with your voice using Google Assistant on your Nest speaker or display, or with Alexa on other smart devices.
Person using Nest Thermostat

Nest Thermostat gets rid of the hard-to-read screen and tiny buttons on traditional thermostats. You can swipe and tap the side of the thermostat to manually adjust the temperature.

Clean, simple and sustainable design

The Nest Thermostat has a sleek design and comes in a variety of colors to complement any home: Snow, Charcoal, Sand and Fog. And while we know some people will want to do their own touch-up painting when they remove their old thermostat, we’re now offering a Nest Thermostat Trim Kit, designed to cover any imperfections on the wall in perfectly matched Nest Thermostat colors. 

Nest Thermostat in four colors

The Nest Thermostat is also designed with recycled materials, continuing our commitment to sustainability. Its plastic parts contain 49 percent recycled post-consumer plastic, and the Trim Kit is made from 75 percent recycled post-consumer plastic.

Helpful alerts to keep an eye on your heating and cooling system

Homeowners know how critical heating and cooling systems are, and if they break, they can be expensive to replace. With HVAC monitoring, your Nest Thermostat looks out for potential issues to make sure everything’s running smoothly with your HVAC system. 


If your Nest Thermostat notices that something’s not right, it sends an alert via the Home app or email. From there, you can schedule a visit from a qualified technician through our partner Handy to find someone in your area with preferred pricing, flexible online scheduling and money-back guarantee. This feature will start rolling out to all eligible Nest thermostats in the U.S. and Canada later this month with the ability to book a pro available in most markets.

Get a Nest Thermostat for less 

Like our other thermostats, the Nest Thermostat qualifies for energy efficiency rebates from utility providers across the country, making it possible to get one for even less. You can check for eligible rebates and offers through the Google Store in the rebate checker. And depending on your utility, you may be able to purchase a Nest Thermostat with the rebate applied at checkout on Google store or on your utility marketplace.

Where and when

You can pre-order the Nest Thermostat starting today, and it will be available in the coming weeks for $129.99 in the U.S. and $179.99 in Canada on the Google Store and select retailers, including Best Buy and Home Depot, with the Trim Kit sold separately at those same locations ($14.99 in the U.S. and $19.99 in Canada). 

How we’re supporting climate action in European cities

Climate action can have the biggest impact in cities, which are responsible for 70 percent of the world's CO₂ emissions. That’s why we committed to helping more than 500 cities reduce 1 gigaton of carbon emissions annually by 2030 as part of our ambitious plan for climate action. To help reach that goal, ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, with grant support from Google.org, is funding six projects. The projects will use actionable data to test new strategies that can reduce emissions and improve air quality in cities across Europe. 

ICLEI is a global network of more than 1,750 local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development. Last fall, we granted $4 million in funding to them to establish the ICLEI Action Fund and support nonprofits and academic institutions in Europe and Latin America that are leading data-driven climate action efforts. Here’s a look at the projects that have been funded and what we’ve learned so far. 

Projects selected for funding across Europe

 The Centre for Sustainable Energy plans to establish an open-source, city-wide energy dataset in Birmingham, England. The team will also develop analysis tools that can model decarbonisation options for buildings in the city, overlay and integrate public datasets, and aggregate granular socioeconomic data. 

With these tools, the Centre hopes to develop city-wide interventions and smaller community initiatives that will help the city reach its overall decarbonisation goals. “By combining emissions data for buildings, transport, and energy infrastructure with socioeconomic data, and distributing local community grants, we’ll be able to help residents deliver targeted carbon reduction projects, and support the City Council and Route to Zero Task Force to deliver their city-wide climate emergency ambitions,” said Rachel Coxcoon, Programme Director at the Centre for Sustainable Energy. 

In Hamburg, the CityScienceLab of the HafenCity University will develop a tool incorporating data from Google’s Environmental Insights Explorer (EIE), Hamburg’s urban data platform and other sources. With this tool, they plan to help the city identify areas that can be used as “urban testbeds” for prototyping energy innovations in the Altona, Norg and Bergedorf districts. The prototyping process will help visualise and simulate projects to better understand their projected impact on the city. 

Other Action Fund grantees and their projects include: 

  • Deutsche Umwelthilfe in Berlin: To help the city reach its air quality and carbon-free transport goals, they plan to analyze data about air quality, noise levels and traffic, and use EIE to advocate for data-driven changes to cycling and other transportation infrastructure.
  • Carbon Co-Op in Greater Manchester: Working with local partners, they'll develop multi-sector energy plans for the regions and pilot three citizen-led projects focused on sustainable mobility and energy-efficient buildings. A newly developed urban energy dashboard will help them track impact. 
  • Miljopunkt Amager in Copenhagen: Using Google Air View, traffic data and community-collected data, they’ll test new urban space designs that may improve air quality. 
  • Air Pays de la Loire in Nantes: Using real-time air quality datasets that account for traffic conditions, they will provide citizens and local authorities with tools to make decisions about transportation management and traffic regulation systems.

The latest insights from cities taking data-driven climate action 

Through these projects, we’ve seen how cities are thinking about data-backed sustainability planning and action. So far, we’ve seen trends that can be applied globally.  

First, starting small can lead to a big impact—especially when it comes to data. City-level data can point decision-makers in the right direction, while neighborhood or district data can create the necessary community buy-in for more specific programs or interventions. Second, actionable data can help citizens make informed day-to-day decisions and take action. After all, informed citizens are a critical piece of the puzzle. Last, we saw a huge interest in cities looking to improve air quality through more efficient and low-carbon transportation options. 

To have a meaningful impact on climate change, data-driven approaches must be scaled across the globe. That’s why Google.org provided ICLEI’s Global Secretariat with additional funding to develop case studies so they can share best practices that emerge from the Action Fund with cities around the world that are looking to implement similar data-driven climate interventions. 

 One of our goals at Google is to unlock climate ambitions with data, insights, and innovation to overcome today’s climate crisis. We’re excited to continue supporting leading organizations, such as ICLEI, and cities that share that goal. 

Image Credit: Google Earth image of Paris, France 2019, Aerodata International Surveys, Maxar Technologies, The GeoInformation Group | InterAtlas

Source: Google LatLong