Google has been widely criticized for its data center energy usage. Google Energy, a recently created subsidiary, has successfully responded to this criticism but must now formulate an expansion strategy. If successful, the expansion is expected to strengthen Google’s image as an industry leader in energy procurement, provide strong financial returns, and create a lucrative new market. However, this initiative has high risks. The team must evaluate: Were its current efforts enough, or were they just the baseline? How far should Google go to address the environmental impacts of its operations? This case was written under the supervision of Professor Andrew Hoffman by graduate students Benjamin Bunker, Jennifer Foster, Jason Levine, Rodrigo Sanchez, Gaurang Sethi, and Geroge Tan.
Google Energy Shifts into Renewables
by: Andrew Hoffman
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After reading and discussing the material, students should:
- Identify the risks and benefits of pursuing sustainability as a core corporate objective.
- Illustrate how and why an industry leader may pursue a corporate sustainability strategy.
- Present the difficulties surrounding diversification into the energy market and the risks associated with renewable energy investments.
- List the public relations and political consequences of adopting sustainability as a core mission.