How has Google Managed to be a Carbon Neutral Company since 2007?

Carbon Neutral Company

How has Google Managed to be a Carbon Neutral Company since 2007?

“…the carbon footprint of your life on Google is zero,” said Urs Hoelzle, Senior Vice President of Google’s Technical Infrastructure Department.

Despite the fact that Google’s data centers around the world, which run the services for Gmail, YouTube and Google Search, continuously draw almost 260 million watts (which, according to The New York Times, is roughly equivalent to a quarter of the output of a nuclear power plant), Google announced on their official blog site yesterday that they’ve been a completely carbon neutral company.

How is this possible ? Don’t the growing number of “cloud” computing centres and data centres mean a huge energy challenge for the earth ?

A Beyond-Zero Carbon Footprint…

How ?

“The Big Picture” by Google explains being “beyond-zero carbon” by saying that “Our efforts in efficiency, buying clean energy, and purchasing offsets bring our carbon footprint down to zero. We’re going beyond carbon neutral by investing hundreds of millions of dollars in renewable energy projects that create far more renewable energy for the world than we consume as a company.”

Google has increasingly been investing in smart energy, green initiatives, with the more recent ones in this area being its $168 million investment in the Ivanpah solar power tower plant followed by $280 million investment towards creating the largest residential solar financing fund in the United States in conjunction with SolarCity.

Alongwith having invested in utility-scale projects, built to contribute significant amounts of renewable energy to today’s electricity grid, Google has also invested in early-stage companies such as Makani Power and Potter Drilling, which are working towards developing innovative new technologies to in the wind and geothermal energy sectors respectively.

According to figures put forth by Google, the search engine giant has to date invested more than $780 million in the renewable energy sector towards projects that are capable of generating 1.7 GW of power and electricity, which Google estimates as being equivalent to the amount of energy used by 350,000 homes.

The company has also made public the fact that it has put in place a number of special arrangements to buy electricity from wind farms, as a result of which an estimated 25 percent of Google’s 2010 energy needs were reportedly supplied by renewable fuels. The company estimates that this figure will reach 30 percent in 2011.

The Race to “Who’s Greener”

And because of Google’s numerous initiatives towards being greener, including the fact that Google’s data centers use “half the electricity of a typical data center,” it is much smarter to choose Google search and mail services than those hosted by any other server says Google.

In a document released by Google, titled “Google’s Green Computing: Efficiency at Scale”, the company substantiates this claim by saying that, “For a small office of 50 people, choosing Gmail over a locally hosted server can mean an annual per-user power savings of up to 170 kWh and a carbon footprint reduction of up to 100 kg of CO2”

For a more comprehensive understanding of which Google services take up how much energy, figures put forth by the company suggest that about 12.5 million watts of Google’s 260-million-watt total is accounted for by the company’s primary service, i.e., searches, while YouTube accounts for a very small amount.

image courtesy http://www.nytimes.com

Avatar
Carrie Ann
Carrie Ann is Editor-in-Chief at Industry Leaders Magazine, based in Las Vegas. Carrie covers technology, trends, marketing, brands, productivity, and leadership. When she isn’t writing she prefers reading. She loves reading books and articles on business, economics, corporate law, luxury products, artificial intelligence, and latest technology. She’s keen on political discussions and shares an undying passion for gadgets. Follow Carrie Ann on Twitter, Facebook

Recent Posts

Mercedes unveils EQS electric sedan to rival Tesla’s models

Mercedes unveils EQS electric sedan to rival Tesla’s models

Mercedes-Benz has unveiled a battery-powered luxury car as part of the brand’s flagship S-Class saloon, designed to compete with Tesla. The 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS is set to relea
10 hours ago
Major US banks report surge in profits for the quarter

Major US banks report surge in profits for the quarter

Three major US banks —JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.—reported earnings results for the first quarter of 2021.
10 hours ago
Bitcoin Price surges above $63,000 ahead of Coinbase IPO

Bitcoin Price surges above $63,000 ahead of Coinbase IPO

Bitcoin price has once again soared over $63,000 USD as the cryptocurrency market braces for the upcoming Coinbase IPO. The San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange platform, wh
12 hours ago
Global ETFs reach a new record of $359.2bn in 3 months of ’21

Global ETFs reach a new record of $359.2bn in 3 months of ’21

Global economy recovery is well on its path going by the money being put in the exchange traded funds, especially in the last quarter. A trillion dollars has entered the traded fun
1 day ago
AppLovin gaming app goes public, valued at $28.6 billion

AppLovin gaming app goes public, valued at $28.6 billion

AppLovin Corp, the Palo Alto, California-based mobile app and gaming company, has priced its initial public offering at $80, which puts the company’s valuation at $28.64 billion.
1 day ago
JPMorgan earnings beat forecasts amid strengthening US economy

JPMorgan earnings beat forecasts amid strengthening US economy

JPMorgan Chase, the largest bank in America by assets reported favorable results on Wednesday, beating analysts’ estimates on trading revenue. It is the first major bank to repor
2 days ago