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Google.org Fellows help small businesses fight climate change



Helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) cut down their carbon emissions is a vital step towards tackling climate change. 90% of emissions from large corporations can be traced to SMEs that play key roles in the creation of products and services.

However, most SMEs do not have the resources to measure and manage their emissions. In a recent survey by the SME Climate Hub, 63% of respondents said they did not feel they have the right skills to take the appropriate climate action.

Normative, a company based in Sweden who has developed the world's first carbon accounting engine, has been taking on this challenge by helping businesses calculate their climate footprints. Over the past 6 months, a team of 12 Google.org Fellows, comprising software engineers, UX designers and product managers from different Google offices across the globe came together with Normative to help build a carbon calculator for SMEs.

The Business Carbon Calculator will be available for free, from today, to businesses through the UN-backed SME Climate Hub.

With this tool, SMEs will be able to measure their carbon footprint and identify emission hotspots, including direct and indirect emissions. This data will give SMEs a great starting point to define their own sustainability plans and map appropriate actions to cut down on their emissions.

Prior to the official launch of the tool, 123 organizations have used the tool during a 2-week long beta program and tracked a total of 54,000 tons of CO2 equivalent. This is comparable to CO2 emissions from burning 26 tons of coal.

We first supported Normative’s work through a €1M euro Google.org Impact Challenge on Climate. The team and vision were so impressive that we decided to deepen this relationship by bringing our people alongside our philanthropy through a Google.org Fellowship — it felt like a natural next step.

And so a team of Googlers worked full-time on an area they were extremely passionate about. Gabriella Araújo, a Product Marketing Manager in London, shared,

“It was fantastic to work on climate tech. I had been involved in sustainability projects at Google on the side. And working full time on climate was an incredible opportunity. I worked across different areas of the launch- I was close to product development and loved thinking about different ways to bring a carbon accounting tool to SMEs. I'm very proud of what we've built and I know this will add real value for small businesses on their race to zero.”

The challenge of slowing down climate change is a large one. We hope that the carbon calculator, along with the resources on the SME Climate Hub, will encourage SMEs all over the world to start their journey towards making their businesses more sustainable and resilient.

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