Google: My Champion |
Current Sustainability Management Leaders |
Dylan Burkley |
When it comes to leaders in sustainability, I cannot think of anyone who has done more for their company and society then my champion, Google. Whether it be their data centers that use fifty percent less energy than other corporations on average or the fact that they have been carbon neutral since 2007, Googlers not only lead the pack in sustainability, but share their knowledge with society and other companies as well. Google is a search engine first and foremost, but they also provide other internet services such as web browsing (Google Chrome), and e-mail (Gmail). They also provide a variety of ...view middle of the document...
Forty-five percent of Google employees actually use this program which saves them about five thousand four hundred tons of carbon dioxide each year. Along with biking and carpooling, they also have electric vehicle charging stations on most sites and some employees at their Seattle campus even kayak to work!
I am not certain on an exact date when Google first started using sustainability programs, but I would not be surprised to learn of programs that existed from the very start of the company. I can say 2007 was definitely a big year for Google sustainably, it is the year they first became carbon neutral and they also started to repurpose their old servers that year which has thus far saved them from buying over three hundred thousand replacement machines. Not surprisingly, Google was the first internet company to gain external certification for their high environmental and energy standards including; ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001, and ISO 50001 certifications. They have also built or converted most of their buildings into green buildings, they have over four million square feet of building space that has achieved LEED certification status, of which almost all are at least LEED gold certified and many LEED platinum. Google is constantly experimenting to find new ways to improve their work environment, for example, flushing out on-campus toilets with recycled municipal water. They also implemented the first solar hot water installation in the United States into their facilities and only use all natural carpets with no toxic materials. In fact, every time a new product is bought for use in Google facilities, they send a questionnaire to that manufacturer asking them exactly what is in the new product.
Just about everything done at Google is done sustainably; they really try to live healthy and sustainably all around their company. I will start with the example of them greening their power, this is one area where Google was not always energy conscious but through wind and solar programs are vastly improving. Around 2010 they started buying more and more electricity directly from wind farms near their data centers and by 2013 thirty-five percent of their energy was from renewable energy like solar or wind, they are also continually installing solar panels on roofs of their buildings. Their headquarters in Mountain View has already installed 1.9 MW of solar panels which produce over three million kilowatt-hours of clean energy. One thing about Google that should be emulated by other companies is their data centers. Their data centers are some of the most effective in the world and use on average only fifty percent of the energy of most other data centers. Google uses less than 0.01 percent of the world’s electricity which is pretty impressive for a company of their size! In addition to reducing their impact on the environment, their data center designs have saved them over one billion dollars to date. Some other reasons their data...