Google Goes Green(er)

In what some have dubbed a shocking announcement, the tech powerhouse discloses its plans to power itself using 100 percent renewable energy.

by / December 7, 2016
These colorful pipes send and receive water for cooling a Google data center facility in Douglas County, Georgia. Screenshot taken from Google's 2016 Environmental Impact Report

Google's long espoused motto of "don't be evil" has guided a lot of its decisions over the past decade and a half — and it's clear the Internet tech giant aims to do right by the environment as well.

In a blog post, Urs Hölzle, senior vice president of technical infrastructure, announced that by 2017, Google data centers and offices around the globe will operate using 100 percent renewable energy.

“To reach this goal we’ll be directly buying enough wind and solar electricity annually to account for every unit of electricity our operations consume, globally,” wrote Hölzle. “Today, we are the world’s largest corporate buyer of renewable power, with commitments reaching 2.6 gigawatts (2,600 megawatts) of wind and solar energy.”

Google isn't the only tech giant working toward consuming 100 percent renewable energy. The company is a member of RE100 — a collaborative, global initiative committed to this sustainable goal, whose members include other Silicon Valley neighbors like Adobe, Facebook and Apple.

Besides using renewable energy sources to create a more sustainable company, Google is committed to building healthy workplaces and creating a living dashboard of environmental changes.

“We believe the private sector, in partnership with policy leaders, must take bold steps and that we can do so in a way that leads to growth and opportunity.” said Hölzle. “And we have a responsibility to do so — to our users and the environment.”