Browsing the internet is eco-friendly, isn’t it? After all it doesn’t use paper, ink or transport like magazines and books do. Unfortunately, the answer to that question is no — keeping the internet running uses up a staggering amount of energy. That’s why companies such as Google are investing huge amounts of resources into making the internet greener.
Google operates several data centres around the world — huge buildings filled with row after row of fridge-sized computers running constantly. As you can imagine, this uses a considerable amount of electricity. However most of the energy that goes into a data centre isn’t used to run the computers — it’s used to keep them cool.
With internet use increasing, more people owning smart phones and more of our data moving to “the cloud”, it’s more important then ever that technology companies operate in a sustainable way. The infographic below from CO2 Sense shows how Google are determined to lead the way, with 30% of their energy coming from renewable sources such as wind and solar, and their data centres using 50% less energy than most.
If want more detail about how Google uses energy, there is more information on their website.
If you are interested in reducing your own carbon footprint, take a look at our list of home energy saving measures, many of which are free thanks to government-backed funding.