As 2011 comes to a close, Google has announced its 11th annual Zeitgeist – a collection of data showing its most popular searches. Alex Blackburne explores the results, whilst also looking at a rather significant Christmas present it has sent – worth $94m.
2011 has been eventful. Earthquakes, revolts and the death of two of the world’s most notorious tyrants have engulfed our news streams.
But Google, the internet giant and budding philanthropist, has published data that shows that green issues are also at the front of our minds.
The company’s 11th annual Zeitgeist collates the world’s top environmentally-facing searches.
‘Sustainable development’, ‘sustainable energy’ and ‘sustainable agriculture’ were the most popular sustainability related searches, whilst ‘solar’, ‘nuclear power’ and ‘wind energy’ topped the alternative energy types category.
This video picks out some of the green search highlights.
The 2011 Green Scrapbook allows users to assemble their own top searches, chosen from the top tens from various categories. Who knows – you might learn something new!
Google’s support of green and sustainable issues stems much further than just its search terms, though.
In November, it announced it was scrapping its renewable energy research and development in favour of an $850m pledge into renewable energy technologies.
Then, earlier this month, the tech giant produced a £7.5m donation to fight slave labour in 10 countries across the globe.
And it doesn’t stop there. As a kind of end-of-year, festive gift to the renewable energy sector, Google has invested a further $94m in a portfolio of four solar photovoltaic (PV) projects.
The projects are being organised by Californian company, Recurrent Energy, and will increase Google’s renewable investment to over $900m.
“We’re joining [global investment firm] KKR on their first renewable energy investment in the US”, a post on the company’s blog read.
“We believe investing in the renewable energy sector makes business sense and hope clean energy projects continue to attract new sources of capital to help the world move towards a more sustainable energy future.”
Google’s innovativeness in tackling sustainable issues is undeniable.
If more large-scale companies followed its lead, by investing now in renewable technology, then half the battle against fighting climate change would be well and truly fought.
The other half is down to investors like you.
You can mirror Google’s pioneering ways. Ask your financial adviser about investing sustainably. If you don’t have one, fill in our online form and we’ll find an ethical one for you. And remember, investment of this kind is the key to a sustainable future. Your money can make a difference.