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.

Posted by jzawodn at April 17, 2007 04:49 PM

Reader Comments
# Timothy Bryce said:

Probably not the best timing for Yahoo to announce that it's buying useless environmental indulgences on its investors' dime on the same day that it missed earnings...

on April 17, 2007 06:06 PM
# Brock Noland said:

Great! I am glad to see companies like Yahoo! take a stance in environmental issues.

In general I am a fan of carbon neutrality. However, in certain cases it can have unintended side affects. Like encouraging companies to build dirty plants and artificially raise land prices in areas where the trees are planted (typically poor countries).

on April 17, 2007 06:18 PM
# Josh Woodward said:

"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."

Equivalent after what time period? One month? One millennium?

Other than that, very cool!

on April 17, 2007 07:24 PM
# Globalwarming Awareness2007 said:

This is good way to deal with it !

on April 17, 2007 10:12 PM
# said:

What is carbon neutral anyway? In the UK there is no regulation of this kind of service, so quite literally I could relieve your company of your hard earned cash and give you a nice certificate to say you now carbon neutral.

There is a lot of nonsense flying around about this at the moment, and you need to be very cynical about what people mean by the term, and whether you agree with them. Just my 2c.

on April 18, 2007 05:54 AM
# Scott said:

"What is carbon neutral anyway?"

I think it means you've donated a certain amount to Al Gore's favorite charity, himself.

on April 18, 2007 09:52 AM
# Joe Hunkins | Joe Duck said:

I'm skeptical of this and the other very expensive approaches to CO2 reduction for affluent folks because they throw a lot of human resources, money, and innovation at a problem that is complex, difficult to solve, increasingly caused by countries that won't do reduction programs, and is unlikely to become catastrophic. Better to put this money and innovation to *almost certain good use* by eliminating current catastrophic problems in health and poverty as suggested by the Copenhagen Consensus.

on April 18, 2007 11:52 PM
# Mr. Earth said:

Carbon Neutral, give me a break! Carbon credits are just a another way for celebrities and companies to feel good about themselves. Try working from home, recycling or just don't create the carbon in the first place.

on April 19, 2007 10:22 AM
# Olivier D. alias ze kat said:

Or like me, not use a car while you are alone ! :o| .oO(f***** s*** box)

And so nice read news'n'blog with mobile or paper (while listen music) than spend its mind for driving :op

on April 20, 2007 03:26 AM
# Ted Samson said:

I think the point that got lost on some people in Yahoo's announcement, unfortunately, is that they're off-setting carbon usage by investing in truly viable alternative-energy projects. Thus, his isn't just a "hippie, feel-good" move to be eco-friendly for the sake of being eco-friendly (which isn't bad in and of itself). It's a smart business move as Yahoo plans for the future by seeding sustainable technology projects.

on April 20, 2007 03:50 PM
# Joe Hunkins | Joe Duck said:

Ted that's a good point. I remain skeptical due to expense and ROI for such things, but to the extent that GW concerns create new innovative energy sources and economies that ultimately have high ROI I'm for it.

on April 20, 2007 10:01 PM
# Eric Enge said:

Way to go Yahoo! We all need to be much more concious of this. One recent step I took was that I purchased a Nissan Altima Hybrid car. It's great, I don't think I gave up a thing, and my mileage is up by about 50%.

on April 21, 2007 09:13 AM
# Ian said:

So when are Yahoo! installing those solar panels? :)

on April 23, 2007 04:49 AM
# Carl Sarnstrand said:

Congratulations to Yahoo for trying to be carbon free. Yahoo might be the world's second carbon free search engine if they succeed in doing what they are planning. The world's first search engine is Picsearch who launched its environmental program a month ago. You can read more about Picsearchs carbon free search here:

Best Regards
Carl Sarnstrand

on April 23, 2007 06:58 AM
# said:

Have you thought about how to reduce the carbon impact from flying your private plane?

on April 23, 2007 09:43 PM
# Edward Orysiek said:

Good Lord I cannot wait until this "carbon neutral" scam is over. Saving energy is great and something we should all be doing. But this idea that if someone rich plants X trees they can fly Y miles in their private jet is lunacy.

on April 24, 2007 09:40 PM
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone. My current, past, or previous employers are not responsible for what I write here, the comments left by others, or the photos I may share. If you have questions, please contact me. Also, I am not a journalist or reporter. Don't "pitch" me.


Privacy: I do not share or publish the email addresses or IP addresses of anyone posting a comment here without consent. However, I do reserve the right to remove comments that are spammy, off-topic, or otherwise unsuitable based on my comment policy. In a few cases, I may leave spammy comments but remove any URLs they contain.