Yahoo Going Carbon Neutral

    April 18, 2007

At our quarterly all-hands meeting a little while ago, Yahoo co-founders David and Jerry announced that Yahoo is going carbon neutral this year.

Jerry Yang and I just announced at our quarterly employee all-hands that Yahoo! has committed to going carbon neutral this year. Essentially, that means we’re going to invest in greenhouse gas reduction projects around the world to neutralize Yahoo!’s impact on the environment. While doing our homework on this, we measured our carbon footprint and discovered that Yahoo! going carbon neutral is equivalent to shutting off the electricity in all San Francisco homes for a month. Or pulling nearly 25,000 cars off the road for a year.

I like that we’re able to quantify it in ways that are understandable to people, rather than talking about XXX tons of carbon emissions.

Personally, I’ve been paying a lot more attention to energy issues since last October when I wrote about replacing my home backup server with Amazon’s S3. Even though I don’t know that Amazon is able to do the job with less power than I can (I have to believe they’re more efficient than my setup), the eye-opening thing to me was the actual dollars saved from PG&E if my calculations were right.

Since that time, my home computers have been powered off much more of the time and I’ve actually seen changes in my energy bill. Plus, I replaced my dying 20+ year old furnace last December with one that’s 90+% energy efficient: the Lennox G61V Variable Speed Gas Furnace.

Again, lower bills and better for the environment.

Being that I live in Silicon Valley and work for a high-tech company, I’m glad to see that so much of the interest, funding, and innovation around greener energy is here too. I can only hope that more of the country follows along, just like they have with California’s stricter auto emissions standards.

Thanks to David, Jerry, and the Yahoo! For Good team for helping put our resources to work on this.