Zurich – Zurich remains an important investment location for Google. The completed Europaallee campus will be officially inaugurated on Monday. The Swiss location is the largest development center outside the USA and currently employs around 5000 people. The global sustainability strategy is the focus of the further development of the location. Product innovations that have been implemented are just as important, as shown by the example of YouTube.
The office space on Europaallee, right next to Zurich’s main train station, is officially open today. Patrick Warnking, Country Director Google Switzerland is pleased: “We are very happy about this location. Switzerland and Google have always had a focus on innovation. It is particularly important to me to give all people and companies in Switzerland access to the best technologies as well as training and further education for a digital future. This is only possible thanks to strong local partnerships with universities, NGOs, organizations, publishers and companies.”
1500 bicycle parking spaces
Google relies heavily on local partnerships, especially when it comes to designing public transport. This is shown, for example, by the cooperation with PubliBike, which makes it possible to commute between the two Google locations Hürlimann Areal and Europaallee on rentable bikes. This should also be shown virtually – Google Maps now shows where the nearest bike station is and whether free bikes or (e-)scooters are available from various providers. Google offers over 1,500 modern bicycle parking spaces here on the Europaallee campus. This enables employees and staff to commute to the office with a near-zero carbon footprint. The integration of traffic information from SBB and other transport providers is also being continuously expanded.
CO2-free by 2030 thanks to energy-efficient cloud technologies
Mobility is just one of many measures that are necessary to actually achieve Google’s global sustainability goals for 2030. Buildings rented from Google meet the latest energy and insulation standards and are powered by sustainable energy.
In the field of energy efficiency, cloud technologies and machine learning algorithms offer enormous potential for saving energy. On average, a Google data center today is twice as energy efficient as an average corporate data center. By directly controlling the cooling in Google’s data centers, the AI-based recommendation system already ensures constant energy savings of 30% on average.
“Today, technologies such as cloud-based artificial intelligence are able to identify great savings potential. Such technological advances allow us at Google to meet our operational electricity needs from carbon-free energy sources on the same regional power grid, seven days a week. In concrete terms, this means: every question that is asked to Google, every e-mail that is sent with Gmail, and every YouTube video watched comes without any CO2 emissions,” explains Urs Hölzle, Senior Vice President and Head of Global technical infrastructure.
Attractiveness of Switzerland as a location – YouTube made in Switzerland
“Quality work is done in Zurich and that is the main reason for the sustainable, organic growth of the site. Switzerland in particular has so far offered very good framework conditions,” adds Hölzle. So Google wants to continue to grow and confirm its expansion plans in the coming years.
Zurich is the largest headquarters of the YouTube development team next to the headquarters in San Bruno, California. Founded in 2006, the video platform has over 2 billion monthly logged-in users and 500 hours of video footage is uploaded to the platform every minute. Geoff van der Meer, Vice President Engineering, says of his team’s development work: “Operating such a platform comes with great responsibility. Thanks to products such as Content ID or YouTube Analytics, we can meet this demand for users and creators. We are particularly proud that a significant part of the functions mentioned are developed and continuously improved in Switzerland.” YouTube in Zurich focuses in particular on providing creators with helpful services. Other mentioned innovations from Switzerland are, for example, the “Creator Studio” – the workspace for creators, which enables video editing before uploading.
Andreas Briese, Director of YouTube Partnerships Central Europe, adds with regard to the active YouTube creator scene: “We are delighted that YouTube creators like Sally’s World offer users such creative content that makes YouTube as a platform diverse, colorful and inspiring are for many people”.
Swiss-made YouTube developments are representative of many other Google products that may be able to work daily in Zurich, such as Google Search, Google Assistant, Google Maps, Account Security, Google Calendar and other cloud services, as well the applied research in the field of artificial intelligence.