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Published: Saturday 15 October 2011

Google’s carbon footprint is on a par with that of the UN, claims the Internet giant’s first disclosure of its energy usage.

Google emits 1.5 million tonnes of carbon annually but claims its data centres consume 50 per cent less energy than the industry average.

Google said many of its businesses, such as its popular Gmail system, can be up to 80 times less polluting than traditional alternatives. Data centres account for around one per cent of the world’s electricity use, and Google consumes around one per cent of the amount.

However, at a conference, Google said its carbon footprint has continued to climb, which reflects a growing number of users and the society’s increasing reliance on online services. It, however, declined to say how much its energy use had risen since the previous year.

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