Google celebrates ten years as public company



August 19 marked ten years since Google became a public company and in the years since, its share price has increase by over 1,200%, compared to its initial public offering (IPO), but how have its sustainability credentials fared and developed?

Earlier this year Greenpeace praised Google for being one of the internet leaders when it comes to the clean energy revolution. Back in January 2013 the company surpassed the $1 billion (£600m) renewables investment mark after announcing financing for wind projects.

The tech giant also launched a contest in July, inviting engineers to design a compact device that can convert renewable energy into electricity. Currently inverters are around the size of a picnic cooler but Google wants the innovator to shrink this own to around the size of a tablet device, arguing it could help create low-cost microgrids in remote art of the world as well as many other possibilities.

As well as praise over its renewable focus, Google has also faced criticisms. Most recently ethical bank Triodos announced it had taken the decision to divest from Google after an acquisition means the firm now has links with US defence agencies and the development of armed robots.

Google also has a philanthropic arm and through the Google Impact Challenge awarded four charities £500,000 each after they submitted this ideas on how to use technology to help people around the world.

Despite the criticism around its involvement in the arms industry, Google’s focus and support for renewable energy ensure that its sustainability credentials have remained intact and the company appears in many ethical investment portfolios.

Photo: Robert Scoble via Flickr 

Further reading:

Extreme weather prompting Google searches on climate change

Apple, Facebook and Google named as top green internet leaders

Google launches $1m renewable energy converter challenge

Triodos Bank divests from Google over arms link

Google and Bing agree to block child abuse searches


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