Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Google goes green?

From the Environmental News Network today: Google announced this week that it would attempt to go "carbon neutral" through a series of investments, purchased carbon offsets, and equipment installations:

Google Inc. aims to voluntarily cut or offset all of its greenhouse emissions by the end of the year, the Web search leader said Tuesday. Google is one of a number of companies, including News Corp., and Yahoo Inc. that are attempting to cut emissions of gases scientists link to global warming. To make the cuts, Google is investing in energy efficiency, renewable energy like solar, and will purchase carbon offsets for emissions it cannot reduce directly, the company said.

Apparently Google is under scrutiny because one of its most recent expansion plans will rely on a rather dirty power source:

Separately, Google is planning to spend $600 million to build a data center in western Iowa that will receive power from a MidAmerican Energy Co. plant fired by coal, the fuel that emits the most carbon dioxide. A Google spokesman told Reuters all emissions from its Iowa project were accounted for in its carbon neutral plan.

Hmmm ... wouldn't it be interesting to know more about the carbon, energy, water and waste footprints of the various industries -- computer hardware manufacturers, computer software developers, network service providers, book and serial publishers, equipment supply firms -- upon which library service depends?

1 comment:

Christine Pawley said...

It would be interesting, as you say. Rupert Murdoch, too, has announced plans for his publishing empire NewsCorp to be carbon neutral by 2010.

In Britain (and maybe other countries too) the movement to label products with information about their carbon footrpint is a lot further along that here in the US. Mostly people are focused on food that they buy in the supermarket, but thinking about the carbon implications of eating is bound to make people think, too, about the implications of other kinds of "consuming," including that of information goods