Google's revenues are generated by providing a platform for advertisers to reach targeted customers by matching ad content with search engine results. These services require significant computing power, which makes the energy consumption of Google's large server farms a top concern for the company. In an effort to manage its energy use and associated carbon emissions, Google became carbon neutral in 2007. The company continues to look for and develop new ways to provide the company and the world at large with more renewable energy options. Google also employs a large range of energy efficiency solutions. For example, the company developed a solution to reduce energy use in computers by using a simple 12 volt power supply rather than an alternating current. Google's power supplies run at 90% efficiency or better instead of the typical efficiency of 60-70%, which results in significant energy savings. Google has implemented this technology in its server farms and is advocating for an industry-wide standard that uses this approach. Google's servers are also virtualized, which further improves its data centers' capabilities and energy efficiency.
Google's efforts at its headquarters are noteworthy and include significant investments in solar panels, local and organic food options in its cafeterias, and incentives for alternative commuting. Currently Google does not publish an environmental report and Portfolio 21 has asked Google to increase its transparency around its environmental initiatives and environmental accounting.
To the best of our knowledge the above information is accurate and was obtained from sources we believe to be reliable. Neither the information presented above nor any opinion expressed shall be construed as an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy the security. The views expressed are those of portfolio management as of 12/31/13 and may not reflect current opinions or subsequent events.