Google Achieves Carbon Neutral Footprint

Google has achieved a significant environmental milestone after it has become the first major company to reach carbon neutrality.

And to add to its green credentials, Google also said that it has also become the world’s largest corporate buyer of renewable energy.

Achieving these milestones means that Alphabet’s Google has now compensated for all the carbon it has ever created. The firm actually became carbon-neutral in 2007.

Carbon neutral

Google announced the achievement in a video by CEO Sundar Pichai, in which he outlined how his firm is tackling the challenge of climate change and its 2030 deadline – by which the planet has to change the way it operates and the emissions it produces.

Besides becoming carbon neutral in its first decade of operations, Google in 2017 also became the first company to operate on 100 percent renewable energy.

“By 2030, we aim to be the first major company to operate carbon free,” stated the company, operating on carbon-free energy 24/7 by that date.

“We’re proud that we were the first major company to reach carbon neutrality and have become the world’s largest corporate buyer of renewable energy,” said Google.

“In 2007, we were the first major company to commit to carbon neutrality, and since 2017 we’ve matched 100% of our electricity consumption with renewable energy purchases,” said Google. “So what about those years between 1998 and 2006? Good question. As of today, we’ve procured enough high-quality carbon offsets to neutralize all of our emissions since our founding.”

“Deleting emissions from our own operations is vital, but our impact is far greater when we enable others to do the same,” the firm added. “We’re committed to sharing technology, methods, and funding to help organisations everywhere transition to resilient, carbon-free systems.”

Google also explained that at the moment, half of Earth’s population lives in cities, and that 70 percent of emissions originate in cities.

The firm said that it is making its green data available to 3,000 cities, “helping them to measure, plan, and track progress towards their climate action plans.”

Decades green push

Google has spent years purchasing renewable energy to reduce its carbon footprint and address climate change, as well as making significant investments in solar and wind farms to help it achieve its green energy ambition.

Google a large number renewable energy projects that also help support communities in the US, but also further afield in places such as Chile and Sweden.

Google’s investment in green technology has certainly added up over the years. Indeed, the firm has spent billions of dollars in its green drive.

Rival firms

But what of Google’s tech rivals and their green goals?

Well in January Microsoft promised to remove “all of the carbon” from the environment that it emitted ever since it was founded back in 1975.

It plans to do this by 2030.

A carbon negative pledge is different from a carbon neutral pledge. Back in 2012, Microsoft had said it would be carbon neutral across all its direct operations by July 2013.

Then in July this year, Apple announced its plan to become carbon neutral across its entire business, manufacturing supply chain, and product life cycle by 2030.

Last year CEO Jeff Bezos pledged to make Amazon carbon neutral and meet the goals of the Paris accord by 2040.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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