Green Google Stories August 31, 2011

Google’s environmental strides have inspired a flurry of Silicon Valley copycats to go green. The vast majority, unfortunately, just for the sake of it, mostly to look cool and hip in the public eye. Even though many tech giants are missing out on the big picture, there are a few notable exceptions, such as Apple. The iPhone maker is famously building a stunning spaceship-like campus that will have an underground parking lot with solar roof and they reportedly gave employees “iBikes” to ride between campuses.

But commuting to work without driving, meeting with someone on another continent without flying and riding cars without gasoline has long been “a way of life at Google”, their transportation manager Kevin Mathy wrote in a blog post. In case you didn’t know, Google runs the largest corporate shuttle services in the country.

The system spawns a thousand GBikes Googlers use to travel between campuses, an electric vehicle car share program dubbed GFleet, an on-campus taxi service called GRide and much more. Heck, Googlers even earn credits each time they get to work via non-engine means, which they can later convert into dollars to donate to their charity of choice. All this, plus other amazing facts, in a cool corporate YouTube video.

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Green Google Stories August 17, 2011

As you may know, Google likes to pitch themselves as one of the greeniest tech firms out there. The notion has its merrits. They went through great lengths constructing an innovative system of heat exchangers and pipes that return water into the Gulf of Finland at temperatures similar to intake, thus minimizing impact on environment. Likewise, Google hired a bunch of award-winning green designers from Sydney to Stuttgart to come up with an environment-savvy 600,000-square-feet office for rookies near Shoreline Boulevard. It’s gonna be a self-sustaining building that will require no heating, cooling or mechanical ventilation, plus it’ll operate at near-zero emission. Those two examples are just a tip of the iceberg. Google’s green team lead Anthony Ravitz took it upon himself to summarize his employee’s green strides and the company put together a nifty little video explaining why using theirs – not the other companies’ services – helps preserve the environment.

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Green Google Stories June 15, 2011

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CNN Money reports that Google and SolarCity, a rooftop solar power company, partnered on a new initiative aimed at making solar energy affordable to the masses. The deal worth $280 million was announced yesterday. It’s the nation’s largest residential solar project to date that will enable SolarCity to lease solar power systems to some nine thousand homeowners in the ten states where it operates and Google will recoup its investments through those leases. The deal comes on top of the 15,000 SolarCity’s solar projects that are either completed or under way.

Customers who wish to have the company’s solar system installed at their home can pay for it outright, but most choose instead to let SolarCity retain ownership of the equipment and rent back the use of it through monthly solar lease payments.

Google is all out on the green front, with investments ranging from wind farms to eco-friendly datacenters.

Green Google Stories June 3, 2011

Did you know a Google datacenter uses half the energy of a typical industry data center?  The search company has gone to great lengths exploring green energy and it’s not just electric cars for employees. Unlike Google’s, about 70 percent of the world’s data centers are lacking the resources and expertise to go green, explains senior vice president of technical infrastructure Urs Hoelzle. Google’s Hamina, Finland facility depicted in the above clip is an example of such environment-friendliness.

Originally a paper-mill built in the 1950s, it takes raw sea water directly from the Gulf of Finland, pumps it through the existing seawater tunnel and runs it through heat exchangers to dissipate the server load heat from the facility. It than routes the warm water to another building where it’s mixed with the fresh sea water so it could be returned to the Gulf at a similar temperature in order to minimize an impact on environment. Investing in such innovations makes sense from the financial standpoint, too…

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Green Google Stories May 9, 2011

A microkitchen inside Google’s corporate headquarters in Mountain View, California.

Google, which employs 26,000 people, will hire more new employees this year than ever before. It doesn’t come as a surprise then that the company is about to build its own office space, something they have never done before. According to, the company will spare no expenses to build a 600,000 square feet of office space for its rookie employees affectionately called Nooglers. This compares to the 4.3 million square feet in total for their Mountain View headquarters, with 65 buildings stretching along more than a mile of Charleston Road. It’ll be custom build from the ground up and Google will employ some cutting-edge green designs, too….

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