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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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One thought on “Search Giants Guard Carbon Footprint Data

  1. Good article about Google going carbon neutral. But it might be good to mention that Picsearch became the first search service to be carbon neutral in March http://www.picsearch.com/menu.cgi?pl=en&item=PR_20070322.

    In addition to Google’s pledge, Yahoo made one in April. Picsearch think it is good that both Yahoo and Google now have promised to take the electricity consumption seriously.

    Picsearch view environmental work as part of our quality work. Just like when we introduced family-friendliness into the image search market 7 years ago. Being the market leader in family friendliness has given us unique possibilities to acquire clients in Germany, Scandinavia and the Arabic speaking world where family-friendliness is of high concern. Environmental friendliness will also provide an edge for us in our business activities even if it implies extra costs in the beginning.

    Best Regards
    Carl Sarnstrand
    Communications Manager
    Picsearch

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