Did you know that two Google searches generate as much CO2 as boiling water on your stovetop? Big tech companies are finally taking bigger steps toward addressing their data center’s environmental impact, which often rivals that of entire cities.
A couple of years ago, we talked about your Facebook Footprint, pointing out that two Google searches produce the same amount of CO2 as boiling water on your stovetop, and that Facebook has a carbon footprint equal to half of New York City. So have things changed much? You’d like to think that the brightest minds at innovative companies like Google would have a solid forward vision as they build the massive data centers that power the things that you do every day on the web, but do they? Well, it’s hard to tell. In spite of the fact that large tech companies like Google and Facebook don’t think YOU deserve much privacy, they treat information about their data centers like state secrets. None of the major tech firms in a Greenpeace roundup fared especially well, primarily because of a lack of transparency on the part of the companies in question. But it appears big tech firms are finally making SOME kind of effort. AMD and HP are partnering to explore the potential of solar-only distributed data centers. After considerable pressure, Facebook installed solar panels at their Oregon operation earlier this year, and suggesting maybe there’s some kind of financial sense to the idea (although this is a common argument against green energy) even Standard & Poors is getting in on the action. And Apple – in spite of being such an innovative company when it comes to devices and the revenue streams attached to them, is one of the late joiners in the game. For more comprehensive roundups if you’re interested, check out this special report from DataCenterKnowledge.com or this one from EcoFriend .