Google Is Going Green – Promise

Google will be green in 2008.

Google will achieve Carbon neutrality by end of 2007, according to the official Google blog. Urs Hoelzle, Senior Vice President, Operations for Google said that their plan is to neutralize Google’s carbon footprint through three basic strategies:

  • reduce energy consumption by maximizing efficiency;
  • invest in and use renewable energy sources; and
  • purchase carbon offsets for the emissions that they can’t reduce directly.

More and more companies will be taking similar actions given the publicity on this issue, as the New York Times pointed out. Climate Counts is a new organization that surveys the public information on how major companies are operating. Google did not score high in their rankings with a score of only 17.

5 thoughts on “Google Is Going Green – Promise”

  1. From
    There are several easy things that you can do to “greenify” your office. It’s always a good bet to follow the mantra of “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.” Remember that going green in not only saving the environment but green offices are more efficient, shaving the bottom line and saving you money. Here are the top 6 tips for going green in your office:

    1. Print Double-Sided
    Make full use of your paper by printing on both sides. Also, use paper that has been printed on one side for taking notes. Do your proofreading and edits on your computer before printing to reduce the number of prints you make. Try to choose printers and photocopiers that do double-sided printing.

    2. Recycle the Paper You Use and Use Recycled Paper
    The average American office worker throws out over 150 pounds of paper each year. Paper manufacturing contributes to the deforestation of the planet and in America is responsible for 35 million tons of CO2 a year. When buying printer paper, look for recycled paper with a high percentage of post-consumer content and the minimum of chlorine bleaching.

    3. Use Less Energy
    Use Energy Star certified office machines to reduce energy use and make sure the Energy Star function is always enabled. Set computers to energy-saving settings and make sure to shut them down when you leave for the day (“standby” settings will continue to draw power even when not in use). Of course, always shut off lights when they are not in use or when you leave for the day. A great way to ensure that this happens is with motion sensors that will turn the lights off when everyone has left the room. Also, look to use Energy Star certified compact fluorescent lights (CFL’s) that use 75% less energy to produce the same amount of light, last 10 times longer and produce less heat.

    4. Recycle Old Office Equipment
    To lesson your office’s affect on the number of new pieces of equipment that are manufactured each year, as well that end up in landfills, buy all-in-one multifunction machines. Whenever possible get rid of machines completely by using services such as Internet fax. With an Internet fax service, you can get rid of a fax machine completely as well as reduce the amount of paper and ink that is consumed by the machine. Another way to decrease waste in the office is to recycle old machines or ones no longer in use or donate them to charities where they will continue to be used.

    5. Recycle Toner and Inkjet Cartridges
    Over 400 million cartridges are dumped into our nations landfills each year and make up more than 1.9 billion pounds of waste. Help reduce this waste by recycling your used toner and inkjet cartridges with your local recycling company or view information on how Green Image Solutions can help you recycle your cartridges for free. Also, using remanufactured cartridges that have been recycling helps reduce waste and save your company money.

    6. Go Digital
    Implement electronic content management and manage your paper based processes electronically. Paper is inherently slower than electronic and electronic documents can be searched much faster than paper documents. Many common business processes can be handled electronically like claims management, loan originations, contracts, employee correspondence, etc. Effective content management in the office reduces paper, ink and mailing costs and reduce paper transport costs that use energy and create CO2 emissions. Also, avoid or reduce paper storage and archiving by storing documents electronically. Less than 1% of archived papers are ever accessed again and close to 50% of archived documents are duplicates.

    Reduce, Reuse and Recycle:

    Make it easy. Place bins or containers in locations near trash cans where employees normally would throw away recyclables. Be sure to label the bins so that the materials are put in separate receptacles.

    Remind Employees. Place signs around your office (not just near the receptacles) reminding employees to recycle. Use e-mails or newsletters to remind everyone what your office is recycling, where the bins are located, and how much they are helping the environment.

    Track your progress. If possible, calculate how much you are recycling every so often. Keep a progress chart in a common area that shows employees how many pounds of aluminum, glass or paper they’ve collected. You might also want to set goals and reward employees when they’re reached.

  2. I’d certainly recommend going down the ‘Green’ route.

    I think jim has made some excellent points. I am seeing a big push by companies to go green and this has let to a huge range of green office supplies now available on the market.

    We are always being asked by businesses big and small for advice on going green.

    We must all do our bit

  3. Just want to make a couple of comments on the third thing that Google plans on doing with carbon offsetting thier emmisions.

    First this offsetting looks good on the surface, but might not be that awsome in reality, but that depends how you look at it.

    Carbon offsetting is where you pay another company to reduce thier carbon output. These other companies may not be in a position to afford to reduce thier off setting so it works out well.

    Here is the problem.

    When a company is in a position to reduce thier carbon output but it is cheaper or more convient to have somebody else do it.

    An example of this is with Al Gore. He lives in a pretty big house and when told how much carbon is produced in heating and lighting his home, it seemed to be high for just one family to produce that much carbon.

    So you say, hey Al Gore don’t live in a mansion and move into something a little smaller. Seems like a good idea.

    What Al Gore did was carbon offsetting. He paid a company to lower thier carbon output so he wouldn’t have to on his home or as other know it his mansion.

    Now my point is not to pick on Al Gore but to point out that carbon offsetting can look wonderful on the surface and does help but doesn’t mean that the company believes in going green.

    Now I think that Google is on the right track, but I would still like to see them monitored to ensure that they are not trying just to look good.

    My opinon for what it is worth.

    Pickle Head

  4. Everyone does something to harm the environment. Just because they are a dot com company don’t mean a thing.

    They use massive amounts of energy!

    They have offices and National HQ’s thoughout the world and use massive resources.
    Think how much paper, electricity etc they use in a year?

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