Google says that it is the first major company to effectively eliminate its entire carbon footprint dating back to its founded. The search giant also announced a goal to switching to entirely renewable energy sources by 2030.
Eliminating its carbon footprint may sound like a big achievement, but realistically, Google accomplished it by spending a lot of money. TechCrunch points out that Google purchased “high-quality carbon offsets,” which is essentially investing in measures that either remove the equivalent volume of green house gas (GHG) emissions from the atmosphere or prevent the equivalent amount of GHG from entering the atmosphere.
Google didn’t share exactly how much it spent to eliminate its entire carbon footprint, but it likely means a lot of projects received a sizable amount of funding from Google. It’s also worth noting that Google became carbon-neutral back in 2007.
As for moving the entire company over to renewable energy sources, TechCrunch points out that’s a much bigger undertaking. Currently, Google matches it total energy use with 100 percent renewable energy. In other words, the company still uses non-renewable power, but purchases renewable energy elsewhere to offset it.
However, Google plans to have its entire business running on carbon-free energy by 2030. That means every Google office, campus and data centre for Gmail, Search, YouTube and more will run on 100 percent renewable energy. To accomplish this, Google will have to develop new clean energy sources. The company says it will help bring 5 GW worth of new carbon-free energy sources online by 2030 across regions where Google has physical resources in need of power.
It’s worth noting that investing in new clean energy sources isn’t new and plenty of companies do it. However, Google’s size and influence makes that task, and its fixed deadline, much more significant. Hopefully, more companies follow suit and work towards renewable energy as well.