Now before you start rolling your eyes and muttering something about "greenwashing," hear the folks at Yahoo! out on this. The good news is that - unlike many carbon offsetting programs we've read/heard about - this one actually seems to be doing some good. According to Chris Page, its director of climate and energy strategy, Yahoo! has now gone carbon neutral (offsetting a 250 thousand metric ton carbon footprint in the process) by partnering with EcoSecurities and CantorCO2e to fund a number of hydro/windpower projects in Brazil and India.
In Brazil, it helped fund the construction of a run-of-river dam, which relies on an elevation drop and a natural flow to produce electricity (unlike conventional dams), in Catorce de Abril, a small village northwest of Sao Paulo. Meanwhile, over in Vankuswade and Tenkasi, two cities in India, the company is helping local businesses run 43 750-kW wind turbines. Now while Yahoo! should be commended for actually making good use of carbon offseting - while acknowledging they're not a solution in themselves - we can't help but think they could do so much more. As David Roberts over at Grist points out, the company's total investment for the year-long project was a low $2 million - a drop in the bucket for a firm that has generated $6.7 billion in revenue this year.
That, of course, can primarily be attributed to the fact that Yahoo! just doesn't emit that much carbon dioxide (not surprisingly). As Roberts goes on to argue, Yahoo! should therefore try to push the envelope and commit to going carbon negative, if not convince its partners to follow in its footsteps. This could be one area in which Yahoo! beats Google at its own game.