Even though Google has been known to make large investments in renewable energy in the past, their employees are still frustrated that the company is not doing enough to decrease its environmental footprint. In response to these frustrations, tech employees who are involved in the Global Climate Strike, staged a series of walkouts. Google’s response to these unfortunate events? To announce that it will be making “the biggest corporate purchase of renewable energy.”
This purchase, according to Google, includes a package of 1,600-megawatts of wind and solar agreements, as well as 18 new energy deals. This is the largest corporate renewable energy purchase to date. In fact, this purchase has been compared to the same amount of power that one million solar rooftops can provide. Additionally, this investment will increase the company’s agreements by 40%, taking its renewable energy fleet to 52 projects.
In addition to this historically large purchase, Google went on to promise reducing its waste by only using recycled materials in “Made By Google” products. They are hoping to fulfill this promise by 2022.
In a recent article published in Medium, Google employees stated that “Google Cloud makes significant revenue licensing infrastructure, machine learning, and engineering talent to fossil fuel companies, promising to help them extract fuel reserves faster.” They go on to admit that “tech is not ‘green’,” but it is apparent that this does not have to be the case, and if tech companies want to actually make a positive difference, they have the power to do so.
These Google employees have certainly proven that change in the tech industry is possible, and not only have they opened the eyes of Google, but they have also opened the eyes of Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO. On the same day that Google announced its historical purchase, Bezos also made an announcement: that Amazon will be joining the climate change fight by establishing something called the “The Climate Pledge.” This pledge does not just state that it will accomplish the goal of the Paris Climate Agreement, but that it will accomplish it 10 years earlier than planned. Bezos also established the goals of operating on 80% renewable energy by 2024 and 100% by 2030.