Written by: Kimberly White

Google is taking another step in its sustainability journey. Google CEO Sundar Pichai has announced that the company aims to become carbon-free by 2030. 

The tech giant has been one of the most ambitious companies when setting sustainability goals. Google was the first major company to commit to carbon neutrality in 2007. Globally, Google has been one of the most aggressive corporate buyers of renewable energy. 

In 2017, the company committed to 100 percent renewable energy and has since purchased enough renewable energy to cover its global electricity usage. 

“Sustainability has been a core value for us since Google was founded 22 years ago,” said Pichai.

Now the company has set out to power all of its data centers and offices with carbon-free electricity 24/7. 

“This is our biggest sustainability moonshot yet, with enormous practical and technical complexity. We are the first major company that’s set out to do this, and we aim to be the first to achieve it,” added Pichai.

Pichai also announced that they have eliminated the company’s entire carbon legacy through the purchase of carbon offsets, covering all operational emissions from 1998 to 2006. 

Over the next decade, Google will also amp up its investments in technologies that aid its partners and communities in opting for sustainable choices. The company expects to enable 5 GW in carbon-free energy, spurring an estimated $5 billion in clean energy investments. 

The tech giant made headlines in May when it pledged to no longer build custom artificial intelligence (AI) tools for oil and gas companies to extract fossil fuels. The commitment followed the publication of a Greenpeace report detailing how Google, Amazon, and Microsoft are undermining their climate commitments when selling their technology to fossil fuel companies. 

Greenpeace praised Google for taking “its role in combating climate change seriously” with its move to go carbon-free by 2030

“Tech companies were some of the first to set renewable energy goals, and even still, their energy-hungry data centers continued to use huge amounts of fossil fuels, prolonging our collective reliance on dirty energy any time we use the internet,” said Elizabeth Jardim, Senior Corporation Campaigner for Greenpeace USA. “By becoming the first major tech company to commit to power its data centers with carbon-free energy around the clock, Google is setting a new high-bar for the sector: a break-up with fossil fuels altogether.”