Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Environment · 1 decade ago

How should Yahoo! go carbon neutral?

Yahoo! has announced it's going carbon neutral in 2007. We want to do our part to combat climate change. We're investing in greenhouse gas reduction projects around the world that will make our impact on the environment essentially neutral. To read more about what this means, visit Yahoo! for Good (link below). We want your ideas on how we can reach our goal. In what innovative or creative offset projects do you think we should invest?

Yahoo! for Good: http://brand.yahoo.com/forgood/environment/carbon_...

563 Answers

Relevance
  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Oh boy, do I ever have lots of suggestions! I guess these suggestions apply not only to Yahoo, but any company. Yahoo can lead the way by example, though.

    1. Reduce.

    a. More efficient coding means less servers needed to handle the growing http request load. Less servers = less infrastructure and routers and vips, etc. = less electricity used. (Added bonus: also means less $$ spent on hardware!) Set up an internal green coding council to publish internal guidelines for more efficient coding. Use smaller, more compact programming languages. Use threading in a compiled language like Java or C++ instead of the process model of interpretted languages like perl or PHP.

    b. Only buy new hardware for server farms or development that has a "green" certification, like Energy-star compliant devices.

    c. Encourage compression for disk storage, and especially for backup storage and log files. Less disk space needed = less disk drives to buy = less electricity to run the disks.

    d. Heavily insulate all buildings/rooms that contain server farms. This will mean the air conditioning bill will go down. Put in a system that takes filtered outside air for the server room cooling instead of air conditioning if the outside temperature is colder than the air conditioning output. I've always wondered by companies have air conditioning in the server room in the middle of winter...

    e. Put future server farms in more northerly locations where the temperature is cooler or more even in the first place. That means lower air conditioning and heating bills. Seattle? Chicago? Bangor? Canada? The bonus is that land is cheaper there too than Silicon Valley, as are employee salaries of people that might work there.

    f. Encourage employees to use public transportation and carpooling. Subsidies for tokens, special carpool parking spots.

    g. LCD displays instead of CRT displays for all Yahoo employees and server farms.

    h. Encourage employees to use the stairs instead of the elevators.

    i. Put LED lights in as many places as you can afford instead of incandescent or flourescent.

    j. Put in motion detectors so that lights turn off when they are not in use. (Except in areas where they must always be on, by law.)

    k. Pave future employee parking lots with bricks, cobblestones, or concrete. Lower manufacturing costs, and reduces dependence on tar and oil products.

    l. If you have cafeterias in your buildings, reconfigure the HVAC so that you can reuse the heat from the ovens and stoves in the cafeterias for building heating in the winter time instead of just venting it to the outside. Of course, you need to put in a heat exchanger so that the cooking fumes, etc. do make their way into the buildings, only the heat.

    m. Put in double-pane windows on all yahoo buildings. This reduces noise as well as keeping in the heat in or out (as appropriate for the season).

    n. Designate some days as work-at-home days for those people that can work at home, and turn down the heating or cooling in the office (as appropriate) on those days. These days should also be designated "no regular meeting" days where only one-time or emergency meetings happen.

    o. When making corporate buying decisions for tangible things like pens, light bulbs, office supplies, etc., factor in the cost of the packaging for those items. Prefer the items that are sold in bulk with less packaging, and especially avoid individually wrapped items.

    p. Install awnings/shades for windows to reduce the amount of sunlight that hits the windows and that may enter in the buildings in the summer.

    q. Encourage less face-to-face sales calls to reduce the energy used during travel. If sales calls or presentations can be done over the phone, or video, or webex, do so. If your sales organization is not segmented geographically, consider doing so to reduce the distances that sales reps need to travel in order to talk to their prospects.

    2. Reuse and recycle

    a. Set up some printers and/or copiers on each floor that have old paper in them already printed on one side. Instead of throwing out or shredding this used paper, put it back in into the trays of these "recycle printers" for printing stuff that is not so important. Only supply new growth (farmed wood) paper in the printer rooms.

    b. Encourage coffee mugs at the coffee stations. Charge a small amount per paper cup, but you get coffee for free if you bring your own mug.

    c. Encourage employees to use metal utensils and real plates in the cafeterias and lunch rooms, instead of disposables.

    d. Make sure all old hardware is recycled. Old drives may be fine even if the laptop has died. For example, there may be ways to use the drives in cheap RAIDs, especially for non-production or offline machines.

    e. When deciding which company to buy new servers and networking hardware from, factor in the energy cost of manufacturing that hardware. Also factor in the ease of recycling that hardware. Cars are now being designed to be more easily dismantled and recycled. Why not computer hardware?

    f. Put collectors on the top of each building to passively collect and store rainwater in large tanks high up in the buildings. This water can be used for various gray-water (non-drinking water) purposes: the gravity fed water can be used as for emergency fire sprinkler systems even if the electricity supply or water pressure is lost. The water can also be used to flush toilets and urinals. It can be used in the sprinkler systems for the lawns, and in any decorative fountains there might be on your campuses, and even to fill any swimming pools if you have them in on-campus fitness centers. A reduction in the amount of water used from the local water utility will mean they have to use less energy to pump the water through the pipes to your offices. If the building is high enough, the water flowing down from the tank can be fed through a generator to generate a small amount of electricity that can be added to the corporate grid.

    3. Use alternate energy

    a. Cover the roofs of each Yahoo building with solar panels or solar water heating. Check out Nanosolar's printable solar panels (link below). They are not available yet, but they promise to be much cheaper than the traditional panels of today.

    b. Fill the back-up generators with biodiesel instead of regular diesel. Better yet, look into being a tester for stationary fuel cells as backup generators instead. (link below)

    c. Prefer green projects or companies when considering investments for the corporate reserves.

    d. Set up some windmills on the Yahoo campuses. Put big Yahoo logos on them so you can use them as advertising. Also, rent them to the cell phone providers as a cell tower -- that way, someone else will pay for them.

    e. Buy electricity from green energy providers.

    f. If you have corporate shuttles, see if Yahoo can sign up as a demonstration site for fuel cell busses for those shuttles. See the link below for info on ISE Corporation's fuel cell busses.

    g. When making corporate charitable donations, donate to replanting organizations and efforts. More plants = more CO2 captured from the atmosphere.

    h. If you have cafeterias in your buildings, only buy food products from sustainable farming sources in order to encourage it.

    i. If you have corporate security, and the security folks need vehicles, buy or lease hybrids or maybe even get into some fuel cell testing programs. Actually, that goes for any company-owned vehicles.

    j. Hire an energy-czar to implement all my suggestions. ;-)

    Well, there are lots more suggestions, but that's all I have time to write right now...

  • 6 years ago

    I know they are beautiful to look at, but there are more important things in life at stake. The 4th of July is no doubt a huge reason to celebrate but burning firecrackers on that day is the worst example of Independence Day celebration any Nation can set. Also smaller countries celebrate many occasions with firecrackers, eg, the festival Diwali in India and Sri Lanka. People sure need to learn a new way to celebrate which is least hazardous to the environment. Think of the pollution created each time. Of course by creating sufficient awareness yahoo can help in carbon neutrality.First, my "credentials." While I live off-the-grid entirely and our family became a "carbon neutral family" last year, and I have read extensively on the issues, I don't have feel I have the credentials to advise Yahoo!. (I'm actually surprised so many folks here feel they do!) Of course, I do still live a high-tech life on my 40 acres in the foothills. I have a 3-mile WiFi link to a local DSL provider, I have no phone lines to the property, but use a VOIP provider for my telecommunications needs, and manage engineers from my remote location using a variety of communication modalities.

  • 5 years ago

    The 4th of July is no doubt a huge reason to celebrate but burning firecrackers on that day is the worst example of Independence Day celebration any Nation can set. Also smaller countries celebrate many occasions with firecrackers, eg, the festival Diwali in India and Sri Lanka. People sure need to learn a new way to celebrate which is least hazardous to the environment. Think of the pollution created each time. Of course by creating sufficient awareness yahoo can help in carbon neutrality.First, my "credentials." While I live off-the-grid entirely and our family became a "carbon neutral family" last year, and I have read extensively on the issues, I don't have feel I have the credentials to advise Yahoo!. (I'm actually surprised so many folks here feel they do!) Of course, I do still live a high-tech life on my 40 acres in the foothills. I have a 3-mile WiFi link to a local DSL provider, I have no phone lines to the property, but use a VOIP provider for my telecommunications needs, and manage engineers from my remote location using a variety of communication modalities.

  • 5 years ago

    firecrackers on that day is the worst example of Independence Day celebration any Nation can set. Also smaller countries celebrate many occasions with firecrackers, eg, the festival Diwali in India and Sri Lanka. People sure need to learn a new way to celebrate which is least hazardous to the environment. Think of the pollution created each time. Of course by creating sufficient awareness yahoo can help in carbon neutrality.First, my "credentials." While I live off-the-grid entirely and our family became a "carbon neutral family" last year, and I have read extensively on the issues, I don't have feel I have the credentials to advise Yahoo!. (I'm actually surprised so many folks here feel they do!) Of course, I do still live a high-tech life on my 40 acres in the foothills. I have a 3-mile WiFi link to a local DSL provider, I have no phone lines to the property, but use a VOIP provider for my telecommunications needs, and manage engineers from my remote location using a variety of communication modalities.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

    The reason for this is that, while reducing carbon dioxide is beneficial to the planet, other GHG’s have a more dramatic and faster-acting affect on global warming. For this reason, Climate Clean has created a proprietary mix of all six GHGs that mirror all six greenhouse gases concentrated in the atmosphere. Because this approach is not CO2-centric, immediate benefits will be realized to help offset the current positive radiative imbalance of the planet. While this standard may seem somewhat esoteric, it is supported by sound scientific research, and we believe establishes the state-of-the-art in voluntary GHG offset quality. I'd like to add one important issue that I think is also very important. FIREWORKS!!! Yahoo! should create awareness about the use of firecrackers by people seeking mindless pleasure. I know they are beautiful to look at, but there are more important things in life at stake. The 4th of July is no doubt a huge reason to celebrate but burning firecrackers on that day is the worst example of Independence Day celebration any Nation can set. Also smaller countries celebrate many occasions with firecrackers, eg, the festival Diwali in India and Sri Lanka. People sure need to learn a new way to celebrate which is least hazardous to the environment. Think of the pollution created each time. Of course by creating sufficient awareness yahoo can help in carbon neutrality.

  • 1 decade ago

    Please consider buying up european carbon credits. The EU carbon trading scheme was intended to give companies the choice between saving carbon or spending money on credits and/or fines.

    Unfortunately the politicians bottled it when faced with lobbying from high-emission industries, and set the free allowances far too leniently. They also permitted too many credits to be created from sometimes dodgy offsetting and renewable development schemes.

    This has brought the cost of a credit down to a fraction of the cost of the fine, and made the whole exercise a joke. Next year the allowances are going to be shrunk considerably, so things might start to bite a bit more.

    In the meantime, every credit that ordinary people buy and remove from the system is one more tonne of carbon that is no longer available to polluting industries. If everyone in the EU bought up just 3 tonnes in credits (which would cost less than 30 euros at the moment), that would be a billion tonnes of carbon savings industry would be forced to make or pay fines for not doing so.

    Buying up credits on this market, moreover, buys you the confidence that your money is accurately targetted - because everything involved is overseen and inspected by EU bureaucrats. Compared with that, most other offsetting schemes are cowboy operations.

  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

    Yahoo! should create awareness about the use of firecrackers by people seeking mindless pleasure. I know they are beautiful to look at, but there are more important things in life at stake. The 4th of July is no doubt a huge reason to celebrate but burning firecrackers on that day is the worst example of Independence Day celebration any Nation can set. Also smaller countries celebrate many occasions with firecrackers, eg, the festival Diwali in India and Sri Lanka. People sure need to learn a new way to celebrate which is least hazardous to the environment. Think of the pollution created each time. Of course by creating sufficient awareness yahoo can help in carbon neutrality.

  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

    Would make a dent in the energy companies. The other side of carbon neutral, is lowering the electrical costs does lower costs of operating the Yahoo! buildings. Purchasing of recycled paper being cheaper by the bulk also, is another way of lowering Yahoo! cost of business. Recycling ink, paper, improves relations with the local recycler and community group, 200 pounds of paper bags, drinking soda cans,... all is less in the nearest garbage dump that has flying debris near the homes you live in, meaning less cancer and toilet smells. :)) Really lowers the city incinerator also, that produces air pollution. Yahoo! should create awareness about the use of firecrackers by people seeking mindless pleasure. I know they are beautiful to look at, but there are more important things in life at stake. The 4th of July is no doubt a huge reason to celebrate but burning firecrackers on that day is the worst example of Independence Day celebration any Nation can set. Also smaller countries celebrate many occasions with firecrackers, eg, the festival Diwali in India and Sri Lanka. People sure need to learn a new way to celebrate which is least hazardous to the environment. Think of the pollution created each time. Of course by creating sufficient awareness yahoo can help in carbon neutrality.

  • 6 years ago

    I'd like to add one important issue that I think is also very important. FIREWORKS!!! Yahoo! should create awareness about the use of firecrackers by people seeking mindless pleasure. I know they are beautiful to look at, but there are more important things in life at stake. The 4th of July is no doubt a huge reason to celebrate but burning firecrackers on that day is the worst example of Independence Day celebration any Nation can set. Also smaller countries celebrate many occasions with firecrackers, eg, the festival Diwali in India and Sri Lanka. People sure need to learn a new way to celebrate which is least hazardous to the environment. Think of the pollution created each time. Of course by creating sufficient awareness yahoo can help in carbon neutrality.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    It's funny how you are considered a troll when proposing a question to debate the efficiency of using present dollars for carbon reduction versus other issues. There is no way to quantify the pay-back, if any, of spending money to reduce CO2. If CO2 is not the prime forcing agent in GW, then every last dollar spent on CO2 reduction/sequestering has been wasted. On the other hand, if you give money to any reputable charity or relief agency, 80-90% of that money will be used to help feed, shelter and clothe people that are going to die this year otherwise. So, if it makes you feel good to live in your comfortable home and spend $10-15,000 to add solar panels to partially reduce your "carbon footprint" while children in America and around the world go to bed hungry tonight, then by all means do it. We live in a free country and you have the right to do just that. ADDED: Dear DW (below) - I didn't see the question as sneaky. Perhaps it depends on what your opinion is concerning GW as to whether this question seems trollish or not. He simply brings up Yahoo as an example of someone (or some company) spending resources on something with unknown benefits versus spending it where benefits are more measurable and visible. And, I didn't ask the question, "Do you think this question is written by a troll?" So, I am confused why you chose to respond to my answer but never answered the original question. If you didn't like the question, that's fine. Find something else to answer. If you think I need education, I provide an e-mail link just for that purpose. That is how I would have normally responded to you, but you have chosen not to receive e-mail from other users.

  • 1 decade ago

    Yahoo itself cannot do the job, an entire city block about 3 miles? Would make a dent in the energy companies. The other side of carbon neutral, is lowering the electrical costs does lower costs of operating the Yahoo! buildings. Purchasing of recycled paper being cheaper by the bulk also, is another way of lowering Yahoo! cost of business. Recycling ink, paper, improves relations with the local recycler and community group, 200 pounds of paper bags, drinking soda cans,... all is less in the nearest garbage dump that has flying debris near the homes you live in, meaning less cancer and toilet smells. :)) Really lowers the city incinerator also, that produces air pollution.

    Yahoo! also should have office employees or receptionist report sprinkler systems, bad fire doors or blocked, empty first aid kits, old OSHA signs, missing safety signs, even trash pick up.

    Water in restrooms can be conserved by auto flush toilets, which prevent used contaminated toilet water from sitting even 5 minutes. Even automatic shut off faucets with pressure control aerators.

    - And calling Mass transit to come to Yahoo! street corners (add a bus sign, the city government has nothing to do with it), means less car insurance cost and less wear on the car that the Yahoo! employee owns. Maybe someday, the car is only used for groceries; instead of you doing it after 9 hours of work.

    Yahoo! can take a poll how many employees would rather car share, and take the Mass Transit. Never make an employee move homes, you dont know if they will be laid off in 2 weeks or 1 year. Never make a person drop out of college to fund a car share in the other direction. Never work a person beyond 40 hours when they were earning more per hour as a phone operator at 19.

    Source(s): Usually Cotton = paper, wood = furniture and homes, plastic = petrol polymer compund,
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.