Google Environmental Insights

Here at Sustain You we see the close and converging link between people, technology, change and sustainability. And this week Google reminded us how technology can play a part in creating change and awareness for sustainability.

To quote possibly the greatest management thinker of all time, Peter Drucker, "If you can't measure it, you can't improve it."

Google have taken this to the next level and given us the Environmental Insights Explorer. It allows cities to measure their greenhouse gas emission and them identify what and where they need to create change to start reducing them. I'm sure at this stage its full of assumptions and holes, but as a starting point its a great tool to provide viability to create change.

Environmental Insights Explorer currently focuses on urban areas, where obviously the concentration of people creates a massive environmental impact, and also provides the greatest opportunity for improvement. However, imagine if we implemented something like this in rural / semi-rural areas. We could start using technology to create a range of datasets, such as:

  • Rural car use, routes and journeys

  • Property energy performance

  • Waste creation, and recycling rates

  • Tourist activities

Obviously, a lot of this information is likely tucked away in GIS systems, but imagine if this data was in the public domain, the possibilities are endless.

Take a look and see what you think. Maybe contact you local council or mayor and ask them how they are challenging these issues, or how they are using modern data tools to improve services.

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