Google Takes Green Tech Seriously

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I confess: When I first read about green tech, I thought, "Great idea. But, most people don't even recycle. Nobody's going to take green computers seriously."


That's not to say I think you shouldn't care. In fact, just the opposite. I do think IT should care. And I'm not alone. Gartner estimates the IT industry accounts for 2 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions, according to a piece from Information Age. Wall Street & Technology even published an article giving five reasons why businesses should care about green data centers.


I just didn't expect anybody to actually care.


So, I was pretty surprised when I saw this piece announcing Google's plans to go carbon-neutral by the end of this year.


I knew Google had joined forces with Intel to build more energy-efficient personal computers and server systems, but I figured that was just a cost-control effort.


But expense-cutting doesn't explain why Google also plans to purchase carbon credits to offset for emissions it can't reduce.


Google's not the only tech company investing in green technologies. But its commitment is far-reaching and includes a three-step strategy aimed at creating an environmental zero-imprint. Its efforts also reach beyond the corporate walls. For instance, the company plans to invest in efforts to capture methane from animal waste at Mexican and Brazilian farms, according to the Reuters article.


Interested in finding out your carbon footprint? The UK government is offering a carbon calculator that will give you some idea of your personal impact. It wasn't online when I checked, so I'm unsure how useful it would be to evaluate a business impact.