Google: Google and Microsoft invest in FlexiDAO carbon tracking software

Jul 08, 2022 | Posted by MadalineDunn

Tech giants, Google and Microsoft, have announced that they've invested in the carbon accounting startup FlexiDAO, which has now raised €6.1 million for its service that monitors the renewable energy that companies buy and the associated carbon emissions hour-by-hour and 24/7. While both Google and Microsoft are both customers of the service, alongside Climate Innovation Fund, SET Ventures, and EIT InnoEnery, they have also put forward $5.6 million to grow the company's platform.

In recent years, carbon tracking has been identified as an area for improvement within the data center and wider tech industry. As Craig McKesson, chief customer and marketing officer, T5 Data Centers, outlined in a feature for DCD, this is partly down to "measurement and reporting standards" being imprecise and "sometimes open to interpretation." This was recognized by the US Securities and Exchange Commission and its 500-page proposal for new reporting standards back in March, and the subsequent launch of the iMasons Climate Accord.

FlexiDOA's platform reportedly enables clients to certify and trace electricity from "production to consumption" and its carbon footprint through the entire supply chain "every hour of the day," which allows customers to gain verifiable insight into the progress they're making regarding their sustainability goals. This is useful in an environment where companies are uncertain about whether or not the '100% renewable' electricity they use to power their operations is truly carbon-free. For example, often renewable energy contracts see energy topped up with electricity from fossil fuels when renewable energy such as wind and solar is subject to fluctuations and troughs. 

Maud Texier, Global Head of Clean Energy Development at Google, explained: "As Google and others move towards 24/7 carbon-free energy, we need new capabilities that enable us to track with credibility how the carbon-free electricity produced matches what is consumed," said Maud Texier, global head of clean energy development at Google. "We are very excited by the value that the partnership with FlexiDAO will unlock for Google and for the energy transition."

Similarly, Brandon Middaugh, director of the Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund, commented: "Last year, Microsoft announced its 100/100/0 vision and commitment to have 100 percent of its electricity consumption, 100 percent of the time, matched by zero-carbon sources by 2030. We know that to achieve this goal, we will need innovative solutions like FlexiDAO that will help reliably track and verify carbon-free energy consumption. Through Microsoft's Netherlands data center pilot of FlexiDAO's granular energy certification and this new investment, we are excited to work with FlexiDAO to advance our zero-carbon vision and to catalyze grid decarbonization."