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Google Announces Investments in Clean Energy and Green Technology


Paris, France : Google Inc. today set out its strategy to help build a cleaner energy future. This plan will enable the company to go carbon neutral by 2008 and help support environmental innovation that could ultimately benefit everyone.

Key components of the strategy include:

* Maximising the efficiency of Google’s data centres, which account for most of the energy it consumes. These use less than half the energy of standard industry data centres – cutting the company’s power consumption by a factor of more than two;
* Increasing Google’s use of renewable energy. The company has finished Phase 1 of a 1.6 megawatt (MW) solar panel at its headquarters in Mountain View. Google is committed to creating an additional 50 MWs of renewable energy generating capacity by 2012 – enough to power 50,000 homes. The company will also apply a shadow price for carbon when buying power for its data centres to encourage the use of cleaner energy;
* Offsetting emissions that cannot be eliminated directly. Google recognises that offsets are an imperfect solution but believes they help finance environmental improvements that would not otherwise happen. In addition Google would rather invest in projects which reduce global carbon emissions now, rather than waiting until the company can eliminate its own entirely in the future;
* Leveraging its assets to make an impact beyond the business. Google:
o Invests in innovative projects like plug-in hybrid cars (plug-ins) in order to make cleaner technologies commercially viable more quickly;
o Co-founded Climate Savers Computing, an industry initiative to increase computer efficiency and cut carbon emissions by 54 million tons a year by 2010;
o Enables users to inform and engage the world on energy and climate change matters by using products like Google Earth and Google Transit;
o Supports changes to public policy - including the setting of energy efficiency and renewable portfolio standards, price signals for greenhouse gas emissions, and increased public spending on energy efficiency and renewable R&D.

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Eric Schmidt, Chairman and Chief Executive of Google said:

“Innovation goes to the heart of what Google does. By investing in new technologies and by working in partnership with others we can make a meaningful contribution to the environment. This is just a start. We are actively looking for more opportunities to help tackle climate change.”

Urs Hoelzle, Senior Vice President, Operations and Google Fellow said:

“Overall the Internet is a relatively clean technology: sending an email or downloading an album has less impact than posting a letter or buying a CD. And by maximising our energy efficiency, creating an additional 50 MWs of renewable energy generating capacity and investing in innovative green technology Google will help build a cleaner energy future.”

Dr. Steve Howard, Chief Executive of The Climate Group, said:

“The ominous threats posed by global warming demand bold, imaginative and far-reaching action by every sector of the economy. Google’s commitment to invest in environmental innovation, combined with their ‘worldwide’ reach, will significantly help promote and accelerate international action on climate change.”

Carter Roberts, President of the World Wildlife Fund in the US said:

“Google, not surprisingly, innovates to address an issue that affects almost every person, place and animal on the planet. In the last quarter, the company put in place the single largest solar installation of any US corporation, committed to buying 50 MW of renewable energy and worked with WWF, Intel and other industry leaders to develop and launch the Climate Savers Computing Initiative to move carbon reductions broadly through its sector.”


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