Google has presented an ambitious climate protection program
Photo: STEPHEN BRASHEAR / AFP
While large parts of California are in flames, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced a milestone for the company on Monday: "As of today, Google has eliminated all of its carbon dioxide debt - all operational emissions from before 2007 when we made CO2 -become neutral, "he wrote in a blog post.
Google's total historical CO2 footprint since it was founded in 1998 is "now zero".
They are "happy to have reached the first significant company".
Since 2017, Google has been completely offsetting its annual electricity consumption with renewable energies.
As with the other large cloud providers Amazon and Microsoft, this works with Google not least through the purchase of so-called Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), as "Wired" reported in December.
This is not the same as actually operating data centers with the help of renewable energies; it is equivalent to buying green electricity anywhere in the world.
All three companies have also worked with oil and gas companies, Google only announced in May that it would not do so in the future.
According to Pichai, Google's next goal is "to run the entire business around the clock around the clock using only CO2-free energy" - "every e-mail sent via Gmail, every search query on Google, every YouTube video that You look at and any route you plan with Google Maps ".
Pichai calls the project "our biggest sustainability moonshot to date" because the change is "extremely complex in practical and technical terms".
Apple, Amazon and Microsoft also set themselves lofty goals
The company will use wind and solar energy to do this, rely more on storage of electricity in batteries and use machine learning to better predict and regulate electricity consumption.
Google has been doing the latter in its data centers for years.
Other large tech companies on the US West Coast also have ambitious climate protection plans.
Microsoft announced in January that it would "remove all carbon from the atmosphere by 2050 that the company has emitted either directly or through its electricity consumption" since it was founded in 1975.
That would be 30 years after Google, but Microsoft is also 23 years older.
The Windows Group also wants to have a negative carbon footprint by 2030, i.e. remove more CO2 from the atmosphere than it produces.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced shortly after Microsoft that he would donate ten billion dollars to the "Bezos Earth Fund", which had not yet been founded.
The fund, about which Amazon and Bezos have been silent since then, is intended to support scientists, activists and non-governmental organizations in the fight against climate change.
Apple wants to manufacture all of its products in a carbon-neutral manner by 2030.
To do this, the iPhone company says it wants to use renewable energies and recycled materials in the entire supply chain and restore ecosystems around the world.
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