Google Claims It Has Zero Carbon Footprint - HotHardware
Google Claims It Has Zero Carbon Footprint

Google Claims It Has Zero Carbon Footprint

Google has kept information on its energy use a secret for years, but now the search giant is going public with the details. In a couple of blog posts, Google talks about its energy approach and links to a new “The Big Picture” page where you can learn all about it.

The biggest claim the company makes is that it has zero carbon footprint, which is no small feat for a tech giant like Google whose entire company is based on online tools and services. How is this possible?


Google says it uses half the electricity of a typical data center, although most of those savings come from the actual facilities and not so much the servers themselves. Additionally, 30% of the energy the company uses is from renewable sources, including wind and solar. (Google plans to increase that number to 35% in 2012.)

The company’s office buildings join in the energy savings effort with initiatives such as roof-mounted solar panels and its bike-to-work program. Google believes that such measures spare the world 10,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year.

Of course, Google is still using a massive amount of energy, so it invests in carbon offsets to help bring its net carbon footprint down to zero. In a blog post, Urs Hoelzle (Senior Vice President, Technical Infrastructure) said “By investing hundreds of millions of dollars in renewable energy projects and companies, we’re helping to create 1.7 GW of renewable power. That’s the same amount of energy used to power over 350,000 homes, and far more than what our operations consume.”


So how much power does Google and its various activities consume?

-In 2010, Google produced 1.46 million metric tons of CO2 (before offsets)
-In 2010, Google used 2,259,998 MWh of electricity
-A single search query burns 0.0003 kWh, or 0.2g of carbon dioxide.
-Streaming one minute of a YouTube video uses 0.0002 kWh (0.1g of carbon dioxide)
-One year of Gmail for an individual user consumes 2.2 kWh (1.2kg of carbon dioxide)

More power to Google for finding ways to be more efficient and help the environment, even though it’s also benefiting the company’s coffers--electricity isn’t free, after all, and it’s always a serious cost consideration for data centers. Regardless, going the extra mile to erase its massive carbon footprint is a commendable move.
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i like the fact that google is trying to be green and backing it up. So many companies claim that they are "green," but only do it because they are trying to make extra money. Its good to see at least google is practicing what its preaching.

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Google is a whole lot greener than most companies who merely buy carbon offsets which is basically promising to plant trees but not necessarily doing anything at all.

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Is it ACTUALLY possible for a company as big as Google to have ZERO Carbon Footprint?

Even with all their"green" practices and buying carbon offsets, etc... I still find it hard to believe their carbon footprint is ZERO. I think they are leaving something out and possibly exaggerating this claim. What about all the companies and factories they utilize? Does this not count towards Google's footprint?

Anyway good for Google, other companies should use them as an example and follow suit for sure. I've always been "pro Google". My answer to most questions in life is "GOOGLE IT" :)

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just thinking about it.. how many other really big comapanies can claim they get get 30% of their energyfrom renewable resources? Google plans to improve that to 35% in 2012 way cool. Would be interesting to just google some of the others and likely to get a boatload of the renwewable PR spin cycle that some business keep claiming rather than doing something being green.

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Google is amazing. I find these statistics hard to believe but if they are true, gratz Google!

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Well... Google has been adding stuff to reduce carbon dioxide. Adding solar panels, adding gardens if I remember correctly; the fact that they're doing that to all of their facilities proves that their commitment to green initiatives are strong.

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This is certainly a thumbs up in my book for Google. Now if they will just not take over the world I would appreciate it lol.

One number I find interesting is that 1 minute of YouTube costs .0002 KW and a search costs .0003 KW wow I would think that YouTube would consume more electricity than a simple search.

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like everyone else... really google? are you sure these are true facts? lol. It really is kinda hard for anyone to believe a company of that size has zero carbon footprints.

Draco, maybe its that when u do a search it has to look it up through all its database and power though it. Where watching one you tube video is streamed from the server with out as much background work. (just my guess)

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The true energy savings come from other companies who use Google to power their email. Instead of having to run it's own servers and wasting resources, it's being handled at Google efficiency.

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