Google to be carbon neutral by year end
June 20, 2007
The search giant plans to fight global warming by investing in and using renewable energy sources; reducing energy consumption by maximizing efficiency, and purchasing carbon offsets for the greenhouse gas emissions that it cannot reduce directly.
"Climate change continues to be one of the biggest, most challenging problems our planet faces, and we know that a sustained global effort is needed if we're going to have any hope of reversing its effects," stated the Official Google Blog. "In that spirit, today we're announcing that Google will become carbon neutral by the end of 2007. This is an important step in our long-term pursuit of holistic environmental solutions."
Monday Google.org, Google's philanthropic arm, announced it would invest $10 million in the development of vehicle-to-grid (plug-in hybrid) technologies. Plug-in hybrids, which can augment the electrical grid by feeding in electrical at peak hours, are seen as an attractive way to reduce demand for oil and cut carbon dioxide emissions. Last week Google announced the Climate Savers Computing initiative to improve computing energy-efficiency standards.
Google says its reductions, which account for emissions from purchased electricity, employee commuting, business travel, construction, and server manufacturing, will be verified by the Environmental Resources Trust.
The company notes that its calculations include offsets for its new $600 million data center in western Iowa that will be powered by a coal-fired plant.
"We're equally committed to finding and developing new green technologies and sources of energy," said Google. "We just completed our solar panel installation in Mountain View, the single-largest corporate solar installation in the U.S. to date. We've also joined the World Resources Institute's Green Power Market Development Group, so we can work with other companies to make more green power available to everyone. And of course Google.org is working on creative new initiatives, including plug-in hybrid cars. In addition, we've set ourselves the ambitious goal of creating 50 megawatts of new renewable generation capacity--enough to power 50,000 typical U.S. homes--by 2012."
Google is actively investigating new renewable energy technologies including one that converts industrial waste into oil.