|Many of us use Google as the tool of choice for
searching the Internet. Google has added a new search that will
help the company become carbon neutral by the end of 2007 and
shore up environmental innovation that could ultimately benefit
Google plans to purchase carbon offsets by investing in projects
such as capturing and burning methane, a greenhouse gas produced
from animal waste with 20 times the warming potential of carbon
dioxide, at Mexican and Brazilian farms. “Our funding makes
it possible for anaerobic digesters to be installed, which capture
and flare the biogas produced while simultaneously improving local
air quality and reducing land and water contamination,” the
company said. Google also has several other environmental programs
and initiatives in place.
In June, Google announced that it would activate solar panels covering
the roofs of its corporate offices. The company teamed up with EI
Solutions to install Sharp Electronic solar panels on the rooftops
of its Googleplex along with newly constructed carports in existing
parking lots, making it the largest solar installation on a corporate
campus in the U.S. These panels will supply about one-third of the
energy for the building, and the panels will produce 1.6 megawatts
of energy, or enough to supply 1,000 average California homes. The
project began in October 2006 using 9,212 solar panels, and Google
said it is committed to creating an additional 50 megawatts of renewable
energy by 2012.
A portion of the solar energy produced will be used to power plug-in
vehicles. In this latest initiative, Google teamed up with RechargeIT,
a company aiming to reduce emissions and oil dependence that includes
several elements designed to advance plug-in development and commercialization.
Google converted six hybrid vehicles into plug-ins that can drive
in all-electric mode for 30 miles before utilizing the gas engine.
The conversion of four Toyota Prius and two Ford Escape vehicles
also includes a planned vehicle-sharing program with 100 plug-in
vehicles for employees to use to run errands during their workday.
As part of this initiative, Google also pledged to donate $10 million
in grants to fund the development, adoption and commercialization
of plug-ins, fully-electric cars and related vehicle-to-grid (V2G)