Google Uncloaks its Carbon Impact and Energy Use of company including Data Centers

3 Years ago I had the pleasure of talking to Google’s Urs Hoelzle regarding Google’s PUE.

And now Urs makes a bigger announcement today.

How our cloud does more with less

Posted by Urs Hoelzle, Senior Vice President, Technical Infrastructure
We’ve worked hard to reduce the amount of energy our services use.  In fact, to provide you with Google products for a month — not just search, but Google+, Gmail, YouTube and everything else we have to offer — our servers use less energy per user than a light left on for three hours. And, because we’ve been a carbon-neutral company since 2007, even that small amount of energy is offset completely, so the carbon footprint of your life on Google is zero.

We’ve learned a lot in the process of reducing our environmental impact, so we’ve added a new section called “The Big Picture” [link to come] to our Google Green site with numbers on our annual energy use and carbon footprint.

Google’s greener data centers get #1 position.

We started the process of getting to zero by making sure our operations use as little energy as possible.  For the last decade, energy use has been an obsession. We’ve designed and built some of the most efficient servers and data centers in the world—using half the electricity of a typical data center. Our newest facility in Hamina, Finland, opening this weekend, uses a unique seawater cooling system that requires very little electricity.


Renewable Energy gets position #2.

Whenever possible, we use renewable energy. We have a large solar panel installation at our Mountain View campus, and we’ve purchased the output of two wind farms to power our data centers.  For the greenhouse gas emissions we can’t eliminate, we purchase high-quality carbon offsets.


The company and carbon impact are #3 and #4.