Yahoo Will Offset Emissions, Go Carbon Neutral

by | Apr 18, 2007

Yahoo says that it plans to go carbon neutral in 2007 (via Greenbiz). Yahoo says it is already focused on conserving energy, using alternative commutes, and inspiring its employees to take actions in order to reduce the company’s carbon footprint. What emissions it can’t reduce, it will offset.

The company measured its carbon footprint based on data from October 1, 2005, to September 30, 2006, and plans to be carbon neutral in 2007 based on its full 2006 data. Yahoo says it will continue to make future investments using the prior year’s data to be carbon neutral in a given year.

Yahoo says it is already reviewing proposals for the first 2/3 of the projects it will invest in and will look for the remaining 1/3 during the rest of the year so it “can seek out some especially creative projects.” Yahoo is asking people who have inventive ideas for offset projects to weigh in on Yahoo co-founder David Filo’s related question on Yahoo Answers.

Yahoo explicitly says its offset programs will only support additionality. The lack of additionality in some offset programs was a central point of criticism in a recent Business Week article.

According to the Yahoo For Good site, Yahoo going carbon neutral in 2007 is like shutting off the electricity in all San Francisco homes for a month. Or, like pulling nearly 25,000 cars off the road for a year.

Yahoo recently developed the Web site for the CFL campaign 18Seconds. Last month, it also asked ad agencies to create and submit proposals for a new campaign from Yahoo that would encourage environmental responsibility.

Yahoo is not the only search giant with environmental plans. Last year, Google announced it was constructing a solar electricity system for its Mountain View, California, headquarters campus with a total capacity of 1.6 megawatts -? enough to supply 1,000 average California homes.

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