Sep 15, 2020 05:00 PM EDT
Google has just announced its largest environmental commitment yet: moving all its operations towards 100 percent carbon-free energy by 2030.
In a blog post from Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and its parent company Alphabet, he declared: “The science is clear: The world must act now if we’re going to avert the worst consequences of climate change.”
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Pichai reiterated their company’s commitment to doing their part, noting that sustainability has been a core value since Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded Google back in 1998. The blog post indicated that Google was the “first major company to become carbon neutral in 2007.” They were also the first company to match their energy consumption with entirely renewable energy sources by 2017.
For their third decade of expressing commitment towards environmental preservation, they are planning to eliminate their entire carbon legacy effective September 14. Google also declares that it will be the first major company to commit to operating on carbon-free energy sources, 24/7, across all of its global sites-Google campuses and data centers.
Also, the tech giant committed to investing in technologies that will also allow its global partners to make the shift to sustainable sources. This includes Google investments in their manufacturing areas that can reportedly provide 5 gigawatts of carbon-free energy to support 500 cities in their shift.
As of today, Google is the 1st major company to eliminate our entire carbon legacy, including before we became carbon neutral in 2007. We’re also proud that by 2030, we aim to operate on 24/7 carbon-free energy in our data centers & campuses worldwide. https://t.co/j9HlkWrB2X — Sundar Pichai (@sundarpichai) September 14, 2020
Sundar Pichai also announced that as of September 14, Google has successfully eliminated its entire carbon legacy-investing in high-quality offsets that have supposedly covered all of the company’s carbon emissions prior to 2007. In short, Google now boasts a net carbon footprint of zero in its entire life since it was first founded, being the first company to do so.
(Photo: Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX – OCTOBER 03: CEO of Google, Sundar Pichai, speaks before signing the White Houses Pledge To Americas Workers at El Centro community college on October 3, 2019, in Dallas, Texas. Google announced that it is committing to a White House initiative designed to get private companies to expand job training.
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24/7 Carbon-free Energy by 2030
To achieve Google’s most ambitious target yet, they plan to start with their strategic locations. The announcement explained that “every email you send through Gmail, every question you ask Google Search, every YouTube video you watch, and every route you take using Google Maps” will be powered by clean, carbon-free energy.
An accompanying white paper for the 2030 target reiterated their framework for assessing Google’s carbon-free performance in each of its data centers, providing necessary updates to the steps they plan to take to make this environmental commitment a reality.
In assuring everyone that their goal is indeed achievable within the timeframe they have defined, the white paper noted that in the last decade from 2009 to 2019, equivalent costs for shifting to wind and solar power has declined by 70 and 89 percent, respectively.
Among the initiatives taken by Google to include their partners in reducing their own carbon emission include sharing their latest technology, noting that more than ten percent of energy consumption in the United States comes from heating and cooling buildings. Consequently, machine learning-aided progress has allowed Google data centers to reduce their energy consumption by up to 30 percent.
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The tech company will be working through Alphabet subsidiaries DeepMind and Google Cloud, to get this energy solution to airports, malls, hospitals, and commercial and industrial facilities.
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