Google - Smart Energy Decisions

Commercial, GHG Emissions  -  September 14, 2020

Google retroactively offsets all carbon since founding

Google today announced that they will be eliminating their entire carbon legacy starting Sept. 14 and are committed to operating on 24/7 carbon-free energy in all their data centers and campuses worldwide by 2030.

As of the time of their announcement, Google purchased enough high-quality carbon offsets to fully cover all their operational emissions before they became carbon neutral in 2007. The second part of today’s announcement means that they will pursue running all their business on carbon-free energy by 2030, rather than just matching their annual electricity consumption with renewable energy as they had previously been doing.

“Not long ago, it was hard to imagine a 24/7 carbon-free electricity supply—at a simple level, the wind doesn’t always blow, and the sun doesn’t shine at night,” CEO Sundar Pichai said in a statement. “But thanks to trends in technology, and with the right government policies, the promise of 24/7 clean energy will soon be within reach. To get there, Google will invest in approaches that make it possible for us to source reliable carbon-free energy in all locations, at all times of day. We’ll do things like pairing wind and solar power sources together, and increasing our use of battery storage.

As part of these initiatives, Google will also be focusing on investing in sustainable technologies. The company plans to enable 5 GW of clean energy across key manufacturing regions by 2030 and help more than 500 cities and local governments reduce 1 gigaton of carbon emissions annually by 2030 through their Environmental Insights Explorer program.

While the tech giant first became carbon neutral in 2007, Google has since seen milestone accomplishments like becoming the first major company to match their energy use with 100% renewable energy in 2017 and currently holding the title of the world’s largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy.

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