Google says it has wiped out its carbon footprint

Having become carbon-neutral in 2007, the company claims it has now offset its entire carbon legacy

Google CEO, Sundar Pichai

Google has eliminated its carbon footprint, the company announced on 14 September. The business has been carbon neutral since 2007 but has now wiped out all the carbon it has ever produced, by investing in “high-quality carbon offsets”.

As part of its announcement, the company also revealed plans to run all of its data centres and offices on carbon-free energy by 2030. “This is our biggest sustainability moonshot yet,” said Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai in a statement, “with enormous practical and technical complexity. We are the first major company that’s set out to do this, and we aim to be the first to achieve it.”

To reach its goal, the company plans on investing in new technological approaches, from pairing wind and solar power sources to optimising electricity demand and forecasting through artificial intelligence. Pichai claims this endeavour will create 12,000 jobs over the next five years.

Google is one of many large tech companies aiming to limit their environmental impact. Microsoft announced in July that it plans to become “carbon negative” by 2030, while Apple has revealed plans to become carbon neutral across its business operations and supply chain by 2030.

Also, Facebook was hot on Google’s heels with an announcement of its own. On 15 September, the social media company unveiled the launch of its Climate Science Information Centre, aimed at combating climate change misinformation on its platform. Both companies’ green pledges come as California, home to Google’s headquarters, is ravaged by wildfires made more deadly by climate change.