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Earth Week 2024: How we’re working with climate startups on sustainability

An aerial photo of a coastline with waves crashing

The global startup ecosystem plays a pivotal role in creating a sustainable future for everyone. Our Startups for Sustainable Development program lends direct and lasting support to some of the best and brightest startups working on sustainability. On this Earth Day, we’re sharing an update on the latest program achievements.

Our program first launched in November 2019 and has grown to support more than 500 impact-focused startups working to advance the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Through access to our AI-driven tools and technologies — such as Google Cloud and Earth Engine — and our vast network of passionate Googlers, advisors and funders, we support founders in their mission of groundbreaking research and long-term impact at scale.

Over the past four months, we’ve piloted a new form of direct engagement. For the first time, we’re pairing Googlers together with startups to add AI solutions to their most impactful projects — and it’s already making a difference. Among other things, Google experts helped set up AI-based solutions to analyze satellite imagery and create computer vision tools. Here is a look at three climate startups we’re working with.

SurplusMap uses machine learning to build more places to charge your EV

A person charging an electric vehicle with trees and green leaves in the background

SurplusMap is a Norway-based company working to connect governments and clean energy organizations to speed up the country's adoption of renewable energy. One way they’re doing this is by helping to provide ​​insights about the best locations for new electric vehicle charging stations.

SurplusMap turned to Google for support with scaling its electric vehicle charging analytics by developing a machine learning (ML)-based approach that integrates datasets like road networks, traffic patterns, and points of interest. “With the help of a Google team we managed to build an ML model to predict utilization rates for EV chargers. This new feature has become a hot topic among our potential customers,” said SurplusMap CEO and co-founder Luis de Ita Maubant.

Stream Ocean uses computer vision and machine learning models to monitor marine life in real-time

Stream Ocean’s recognition model labels fish species as they move about the ocean. Credit: Stream Ocean

Stream Ocean is developing improved marine life monitoring solutions to better conserve and sustainably use ocean resources. To do so, the Switzerland-based company deploys underwater cameras and uses AI-powered data analytics for real-time evaluations of marine habitats.

One of the biggest bottlenecks in advancing the technology is the annotation of fish images for training its species recognition model. “As a result of our work with Google, we strategically designed questions to help experts quickly provide critical information, unlocking huge amounts of training data with minimal time investment,” said Stream Ocean CEO and co-founder David Lunsford.

FAUME uses AI-based pricing models to develop second-hand platforms for fashion brands

A woman holding up a knitted sweater

The France-based company is advancing circular economies in the fashion industry by developing seamless second-hand offerings for fashion brands.

FAUME collaborated with Google Cloud experts to develop an AI-based model that helps brands determine the trade-in values of clothing items and provides a dynamic resale price, factoring in things like consumer demand. Providing the best pricing system to brands interested in reselling their products helps scale the impact of giving clothes a second life. “Working together allowed us to map out a truly groundbreaking approach. We're driving a change in how people shop, promoting sustainability in a way that's both accessible and financially smart,” said FAUME’s co-founders Nicolas Viant and Lucas Patricot.

Join our program and be the next startup we collaborate with

We are excited by the success of our pilot program and look forward to working with many more startups in the future. Learn about more startup success stories and apply to join our Startups for Sustainable Development program.

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