by Chitra Esther Chelladurai
Google is an American public corporation that controls and researches many computing technologies. According to Wikipedia, Google hosts and develops a number of internet based services and products, and generates profit primarily from advertising through its AdWords program.
Google has many green initiatives and is one of the leading organizations in developing green technologies and encouraging their use. Their main initiatives are to reduce their carbon footprint, ensure efficient computing, and help their employees be green. In addition, they are trying to research and develop more efficient tools to enable their users to make their lives more green.
According to their website, Google recognizes that it’s a huge company with hundreds of millions of Google users, with this many users, it takes an extensive computer infrastructure to keep their tools and services running. Since generating energy requires a lot of energy, they are taking every step they can to produce electricity using renewable energy resources. Google is also focused on working towards a goal of making electricity from renewable resources cheaper than from coal. Their formula "RE<C" defines this initiative and encourages others to do the same.
Google has a genuine and sincere interest to reduce their energy usage and become carbon neutral because of their data centers. Google-designed data centers use about half the energy of a typical data center. Google has calculated and shown their CO2 emissions on their website and compared them to some everyday activities. Google stated that, “In the time it takes to do a Google search, your own personal computer will likely use more energy than we will use to answer your query.”
In addition to this, Google is going beyond just electricity and carbon. For example, two of Google’s facilities currently run on hundred percent of recycled water, and by this year they expect recycled water to provide eighty percent of their total data center water consumption. In short, their five step plan is to:
- Minimize electricity used by servers
- Reduce the energy used by the data center facilities themselves
- Conserve precious fresh water by using recycled water instead
- Reuse or recycle all electronic equipment that leaves our data centers
- Engage with our peers to advance smarter energy practices
To Google, these steps are just the beginning; they plan to develop even further and are always looking for more ways to provide more sustainable services.
Google is not only applying green concepts to their technical parts of the company but also encouraging their employees through green employee programs. Some examples are shared bikes on campus to use for short trips around campus, which reduces the need for employee car trips during the work day.
According to the Google website, employees who bike, walk, pogo-stick, unicycle, or otherwise self-power to work can earn points that translate into a donation from Google to their charity of choice. Wastes from their cafes are separated and the organic component is composted. As a result, they have reduced waster send to landfills, reduced greenhouse gases, and recycled nutrients leading to improved soil quality without chemicals. These simple ways of encouraging employees can go a long way and almost any company can do this if they are environmentally concerned and would like to do something about it.
Google is definitely and without a doubt going green; it’s one of the leading companies that are more concerned about going green and saving out planet compared to others. Because of Google’s clear and concise initiatives they are one of the leading companies in the world.