A couple of days ago, Google announced a noteworthy drop in its carbon emissions. Thus, it appears that, in 2012, Google emitted 30.3 metric tons of carbon per million dollars of revenue.By comparison, in 2011, the company released some 44.3 tons of carbon per million dollars of revenue.
Jolanka Nickerman, the company's current program manager for carbon offsets, commented on this achievement as follows:
“For the fourth year in a row, we're emitting less carbon per million dollars of revenue.”
“This means that our footprint is growing more slowly than our business because we're able to get more done with each gram of carbon we emit,” she went on to say.
According to Business Green, the average Google user, i.e. a person that does 25 searches, watches about 60 minutes of YouTube per day, has and uses a Gmail account and also relies on other services provided by the company, has a daily carbon footprint of just eight grams.
This means that doing all the above releases as much carbon into the atmosphere as does driving an average car one mile.
“To put these numbers in perspective, we estimate that serving an active Google user for one month is like driving a car one mile,” Jolanka Nickerman wished to emphasize.
The same source informs us that, over the past year, the company has made significant efforts to further improve on its ecological footprint by investing in several green energy projects.
Two of these are a 94MW solar array in South Africa in May and a 161MW wind farm in Texas. Apparently, Google has invested $12 million (€9.04 million) in the solar array, and $200 million (€150.83 million) in the wind farm.
Interestingly enough, Google has been a carbon neutral company for six years now. This means that, by purchasing offsets, it has successfully reduced its overall carbon footprint to zero.