Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



Google Makes Giant Strides

Watch stocks you care about

The single, easiest way to keep track of all the stocks that matter...

Your own personalized stock watchlist!

It's a 100% FREE Motley Fool service...

Click Here Now

This article is part of our Rising Star Portfolio series.

One of the reasons I purchased Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) for my Rising Star portfoliowas its longstanding desire to design a greener business. It recently made an essential step, disclosing hard facts about its carbon footprint.

Google says it makes the world greener with its products and services, and the company itself has been carbon neutral since 2007. Google has revealed that its servers use less energy per user than a light bulb left on for three hours, and it offsets that usage. Furthermore, Google's digital world of information reduces consumer energy use -- required for driving around to seek out physical information and media, for example. And goodness knows, it would be difficult to drive around and find pandas sneezing or dancing babies like you can find on YouTube. Life was hard in the olden days.

Google has deliberately focused on reducing electricity use and boasts having built some of the most energy-efficient servers and data centers in the world. For example, its newest Finnish facility uses a seawater cooling system that just sips electricity instead of guzzling it.

In addition, Google uses a great deal of renewable energy, including solar panel installations at its headquarters, wind-powered data centers, and carbon offset purchases to cancel out the greenhouse gas emissions it can't avoid. It's also made massive investments in renewable energy. 

As eager as Google has been to talk up its green street cred, it has taken a while for it to disclose actual hard data about its electricity consumption. (As it turns out, it approximates the amount required to power 200,000 homes). Environmental experts like one quoted by The New York Times may offer Google grudging kudos, but they still point out that Google's figures don't factor in energy used by the myriad devices consumers use to access the company's data and services, not to mention ever-increasing corporate usage.

Tech companies have traditionally been energy hogs, making their choices significant. Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO  ) designed "chicken coop" data centers to reduce its power drains (and costs) and is eyeing hydropower. Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) , on the other hand, uses much-maligned, dirty coal to power its new North Carolina data center.

Increasingly, companies' disclosure of their environmental performance records matters to shareholders. Google, Apple, eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY  ) , and Akamai (Nasdaq: AKAM  ) are the only four major tech companies that disclose global emissions information for their data centers driving cloud computing and Internet services, as a matter of fact.

It's good to see that Google's become more transparent about its consumption, solidifying its leadership and bulking up the greenery surrounding its brand. As sustainability grows in importance, companies that fail to address their wastefulness will prove riskier, and maybe even costly for investors. Google's leadership in this area shores up its importance in my Rising Star portfolio.

Alyce Lomax owns no shares in her personal portfolio of any of the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Google, Apple, and Yahoo! Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Apple, Yahoo!, Google, and eBay and creating a bull call spread position in Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read/Post Comments (1) | Recommend This Article (6)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Add your comment.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 1552721, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/21/2016 8:06:53 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated Moments ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,145.71 -16.64 -0.09%
S&P 500 2,141.16 -0.18 -0.01%
NASD 5,257.40 15.57 0.30%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

10/21/2016 4:00 PM
AAPL $116.60 Down -0.46 -0.39%
Apple CAPS Rating: ****
AKAM $57.67 Up +0.94 +1.66%
Akamai Technologie… CAPS Rating: ****
EBAY $29.06 Up +0.04 +0.14%
eBay CAPS Rating: ****
GOOGL $824.06 Up +2.43 +0.30%
Alphabet (A shares… CAPS Rating: *****
YHOO $42.17 Down -0.21 -0.50%
Yahoo CAPS Rating: **