Despite all of the debates we hear about when it comes to the environment and climate change, some major corporations are doing their part to help preserve the planet as best as they can. Google is one such company, and the internet giant just announced that its entire global operation will be powered entirely by renewable energy beginning in 2017, according to a statement from Urs HÃ¶lzle, senior vice president of technical infrastructure. This includes Google's data centers as well as offices for its 60,000-person staff.
Because technology companies have been growing so fast, there has been more scrutiny on their carbon footprints, as tech firms now account for about 2 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.Â Google was one of the first corporations to create large-scale, long-term contracts to buy renewable energy directly, beginning in 2010.Â Today, Google claims to be the world's largest corporate buyer of renewable power, and they don't plan on slowing down.
To reach its goal of using only renewable energy, Google will be directly buying enough wind and solar electricity annually to account for every unit of electricity its operations consumeÂ worldwide. Not only is this change better for the planet, but it seems to also work for Google's business model: Solar, wind and renewables as a general category is becoming the cheapest source of power around, which makes it a fiscally sensibleÂ investment for a huge company like Google.
This switch to renewable energy will also helpÂ support various communities around the world, as Google's purchasing commitments will result in infrastructure investmentsÂ of more than $3.5 billion globally. Google notes that this is just the first step in pursuing renewable energy sources, and the company's goal is toÂ "create a world where everyoneânot just Googleâhas access to clean energy."
You can view Google'sÂ carbon footprint information on its sustainability programs in the company's new Environmental Report, and you can also check out itsÂ new environment website,Â where management shares howÂ they are finding new ways to do more with technology while reducing their impact on the planet.