Password: environmental sustainability. On this for some time the big names of the web (and not only these) have been investing resources to try to contain the impact that the activities generate on the ecosystem. The issue is extremely delicate, and promises made do not always rhyme with the effective application of policies and strategies green. While Amazon is pursuing its $ 10 billion plan "to combat the devastating impact of climate change"Google and Facebook, for years on the front to reduce their respective ecological footprints, are accelerating by vigorously renewing their commitment.
The starting point is common to both: the protection of the planet and the fight against climate change are a priority, otherwise the environmental phenomena that increasingly plague our Earth will worsen. Carbon neutrality and renewable energies therefore represent the aspects on which to focus more while respecting nature and the fragile balance of the ecosystem.
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A year ago it invested 2 billion dollars in infrastructures for renewable energy, and also in 2019 it announced that it had consumed only renewable energy for the second consecutive year: we are talking about Google, whose CEO Sundar Pichai has renewed the commitment of company (and the entire Alphabet group) on sustainability. "We need to act now", He says, "if we are to avoid the worst consequences of climate change".
- Big G is carbon neutral since 2007, and now the bar is raised with new and more ambitious goals.
Carbon neutrality: balance between residual emissions and activities to remove CO2 emissions from the atmosphere (IPCC). So a company is carbon neutral when it removes the same amount of CO2 from the atmosphere that it emits.
- Now Google it no longer has debts with the environment: in fact, it "repaid" the damage generated by its pre-2007 emissions (therefore before it became carbon-free) by purchasing carbon credits (voluntary offsets of emissions that cannot be reduced). In other words, right now Google has one carbon footprint equal to zero.
- By 2030, Google is committed to using renewable energy in all its offices, factories, data centers and campuses. "This means that every email you send through Gmail, every question you ask Google Search, every YouTube video you watch and every route you take using Google Maps will be powered by clean energy every hour of every day."The investments will concern the mix between solar and wind energy, as well as the use of more powerful storage batteries.
- 5GW of clean energy in production areas by 2030 through $ 5 billion investments. The Environmental Insight Explorer, a tool created in 2018 to measure the carbon footprint of urban centers, is then extended to 3,000 cities around the world. And 500 cities will receive aid to reduce carbon emissions by 2030 for an annual value equal to what Japan emits into the atmosphere every 12 months. Various initiatives were also launched to promote sustainability with ongoing collaborations with hospitals, universities and airports. The intent is to apply machine learning to reduce energy consumption.
Facebook is committed to reaching carbon neutrality by the end of the year, as well as consuming energy from 100% renewable sources. "This is just the beginning"promises Zuckerberg, who announces the birth of the Climate Science Information Center and the zeroing of emissions along the entire value chain.
- With the information center dedicated to the environment, Facebook is committed to providing valuable information to users, as is already the case with the Information Center dedicated to COVID-19. Within this container, scientific documents on the subject will be made available, so that users can stay informed and, at the same time, adopt eco-sustainable behaviors in their daily life. Sources will be authoritative, including IPCC, UNEP, NOAA, WMO and The Met Office. It will start from the USA, UK, France and Germany, with other countries to follow.
- -75% greenhouse gas emissions by the end of 2020
- zero net emissions by the end of 2020 for Facebook's direct operations
- net zero emissions along the entire value chain (suppliers, employees, employee travel) by 2030
- fight against climate disinformation: fact-checking will be intensified. Facebook and Instagram will label fake posts posted by users.