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Search Giants Guard Carbon Footprint Data

At the Climate Savers Computing Initiative press conference earlier this week, Google vp for operations Urs Holzle declined to reveal the company’s overall greenhouse gas emissions when the question was asked by a Forbes’ reporter, according to a Green Wombat article. “Our carbon footprint is actually not that big…but we’re not quite ready to tell you what we’re doing.”

“Our carbon footprint is too close to information that is competitive,” Google energy strategist Bill Weihl told Green Wombat during a post-press conference chat.  Google, according to the article, worries that competitors could reverse engineer its greenhouse gas data to figure out how many servers and data centers it operates.

When Yahoo announced that it would go carbon neutral in 2007, the company said it measured its carbon footprint based on data from October 1, 2005, to September 30, 2006, and planned to be carbon neutral in 2007 based on its full 2006 data. But the closest it came to revealing the actual size of its carbon footprint was to say that Yahoo going neutral was like “pulling nearly 25,000 cars off the road for a year.”

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