Don’t even leave a footprint

Wind farmJerry 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.

We've been focused on this area for a while now. Our commute alternatives program has been recognized annually by the EPA since 2001 for incentives like Wi-Fi enabled biodiesel shuttles, bike lockers, carpool matching, and sizeable public transit subsidies. Our recycling program keeps about 180,000 pounds of materials out of landfills each year. We use renewable power, hydroelectric energy, and passive cooling at our various facilities and data centers. And green-minded Yahoos have launched sustainability-focused products like the Yahoo! Autos Green Center and 18Seconds.org to show people how they can make a difference in their own lives.

We know carbon neutrality isn't without controversy. And it's honestly deserved if companies and individuals don't first make an effort to find direct ways to reduce their impact. We'll continue to be vigilant about cutting ours, looking for creative ways to power our facilities, encourage even more employees to seek alternative commutes, and generally inspire Yahoos around the world to think differently about their energy use. (For example, in honor of Earth Day, we're challenging Yahoos to decrease their consumption by 20% this week to help build lasting habits.) We'll also be deliberate about investing in offset projects that can verifiably deliver their expected environmental benefits.

We think our offset program counts, but since this is a new and emerging market, we expect to learn as we go, and we'll be transparent with you along the way. In fact, we'd like your help in all this — we want your inventive and creative ideas for potential offset projects. Please weigh in over at Yahoo! Answers. And read more about our overall approach here.

Stay tuned for more green news from Yahoo! in the near future. And an early Happy Earth Day to you.

David Filo
Chief Yahoo

Photo from razorbern (a.k.a. Bernie DeChant)