At Google, we know how small actions can add up. We earn revenue one click at a time, and have built a very successful business on this model. But these clicks don’t just drive revenue. In aggregate, these billions of clicks require an extensive computer infrastructure to run the services that hundreds of millions of people use every day. This infrastructure requires electricity, much of which is produced from sources that generate a significant amount of greenhouse gas emissions.
The Challenge of Climate Change
We’ve already done an enormous amount to address this impact directly. By conserving energy, we not only help the environment, but also our bottom line, as greater energy efficiency means lower costs. By investing in renewable energy, we displace some of our electricity demand during the times of day when it is most expensive, while helping green industries grow and reducing the cost of these emerging technologies. And by creating web-based products and services, we connect individuals like you with information that helps raise environmental awareness or avoids the need for you taking that trip to the store or sending that paper in the mail.
But there is still more we can do. We recognize the impact that our operations have on the Earth’s climate, and are taking steps to ensure that we are carbon neutral by the end of 2007.
Solving climate change won’t be simple, and there won’t be a single solution that addresses the entire problem at once. We all need to act together to meet the challenge – from the largest corporations and governments to individual households.
Carbon Neutral @ Google
Carbon neutrality means doing everything we possibly can to reduce our impact on the world’s climate system. At Google, we hope to raise awareness of this issue through our products, and then go beyond our own operations by investing in greener technologies from which everyone can benefit.
As a start, we’ve calculated our own carbon footprint by taking into account the emissions from purchased electricity, employee commuting, business travel, construction, and the manufacturing of our servers, and we’ve partnered with the Environmental Resources Trust (ERT®) to have our footprint independently verified. We plan to take full responsibility for this footprint by committing to carbon neutrality in 2007.
We will also leverage our products to increase awareness and inspire action that addresses climate change. Hundreds of millions of people use Google services every day. By integrating new features and by highlighting user-generated content, we will help make climate information universally accessible and useful in a manner consistent with our mission.
Next, we will hope to accelerate improvements in technology beyond the scope of our own business. While there is enough low-hanging fruit to get started on the path to a low-carbon economy using today’s technologies, new technologies will be crucial if we are to achieve the emissions reductions necessary to avoid a ‘dangerous’ level of climate change as defined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. We recently announced two examples of the technology shifts we hope to accelerate: the Climate Savers Computing Initiative and our plug-in hybrid car initiative. By working with industry partners, and by piloting break-through energy technologies, we plan to accelerate further technology shifts with future projects.
Finally, we will campaign for public policies designed to cut emissions to the levels required to keep our climate system stable. We support energy efficiency standards that accelerate the deployment of energy-efficient technologies throughout the world, specific targets to increase renewable energy supplies on the grid, public support for research and development aimed at developing and commercializing low-carbon technologies, and mandatory emissions limits that put a price on carbon.
How we're reducing our footprint...