image6Google has reported a significant drop in their carbon footprint in 2012, as just stated by the search engine giant in their annual report. The company is extremely proud of the successful figures, and rightly so, after a long period of six years being ‘carbon neutral’.

Although they continue to purchase carbon offsets in order to balance their emissions, large part of the achievement was reached by significantly increasing the use of renewable energy sources and energy efficient technology.

It is no secret that in order to serve billions of search queries, almost as many hours of Youtube videos, support millions of Chrome users and provide maps in nearly 200 countries, the electricity bill that the tech giant gets is far from being modest. What is great about this news, however, is the fact that Google did not stop trying to become more ‘green‘ every year.

The annual report stated that in 2012, the company emitted 1.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, which is around 9% less than the previous year. Google does continue to buy carbon offsets, of course, but they also continue the trend of purchasing more and more energy from renewable sources. The report proudly states, that until this point, the company have bought the incredible 330 MW of wind power across the US and Europe.

Hats off to Google for being one of the few, who report figures of their carbon footprint before purchasing offsets. The company urges everyone to do the same as part of the World Resource Institute Scope 2 accounting process, and it is quite understandable, considering that it makes the reporting so much more transparent.

But how much electricity is really used by the company in numbers that an average person could understand? Well, if you perform around 25 searches daily, you watch Youtube for an hour and you have a Gmail account, Google emits the same amount of greenhouse gases in order to serve you, as you emit by driving your car for one mile. In other words, it is actually better for the environment to ask Google, instead of driving to the local library.

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