Google Green


It Starts With Send

Ever wondered what happens when you send an email? Take a journey with Gmail and find out. Along the way, discover our data centers with videos, photos and more. It all begins when you click send.

Over to Google

Once your message leaves your Internet Service Provider, it enters an Internet backbone router. Here’s where Google picks up your message and guides it to the closest Google data center. To provide the best possible user experience, we try to pick up your requests as early as possible from the local ISP, so we’ve built an extensive Internet backbone across the U.S.

Safe and Secure

We understand the importance of keeping your personal data secure. That’s why we protect your message with a wide range of security measures. Security cameras, iris scans and fingerprint scans at our data centers are just a few of the measures we take to secure and protect your information.

At the Data Center

See our security measures in action in this video tour.

Smart Heat

Google runs some of the greenest data centers in the world. In fact, we’re the first major Internet services company to gain external certification of our high environmental standards. One way we save energy is by keeping the temperature on our server floors at a warm 80 degrees. That means we don’t need as much energy-intensive air-conditioning, and our employees get to wear shorts to work.

Efficiency Pays Off

Hear from expert engineers on why they decided to turn up the heat in our data centers.

Industry Recognition

Get the inside scoop on how we became the first major Internet services company to gain external certification for our high environmental standards.

Smart Water Use

See how our cooling system in Douglas County conserves water and helps us do our part to keep the Chattahoochee River clean.

Clear Instructions

When your email reaches the data center, it needs some guidance on where to go next. The networking room sends your message on its way, directing it to the servers that handle Gmail.

An Efficient Server Floor

Your message then enters our server floor. Our servers support many products at a time — that’s “the cloud.” It means we can do more with less — more searches and more Gmail with fewer servers and less energy. In fact, our data centers are some of the most efficient in the world, using 50% less energy than typical data centers. Our large scale also helps us better serve our customers by backing up data in multiple places and letting businesses easily increase their storage and speed.

No Unnecessary Waste

Since 2007, we’ve recycled enough servers to avoid buying over 90,000 replacement machines. We always look for ways to reuse what we have, and when we can’t, we completely erase any data components and resell them. We’re proud that we recycle 100% of the electronic equipment that leaves our data centers.

A Little Goes a Long Way

As a result of all our efficiency efforts, we use very little energy to power a Google search. The image above shows how the environmental impact of search compares to that of a laptop, turning on a light, or drinking orange juice. For instance, 100 searches use as much energy as 28 minutes of a 60W light bulb.

Using Less Energy to Do More

Compare the environmental impact of everyday activities and objects to that of YouTube and Gmail. Here, you can see that streaming 3 days of YouTube is equivalent to the energy it takes to manufacture, package and deliver one DVD.

Hard-working Machines

Our servers work together to process your data, including duplicating your message to create backups, scanning it for viruses, and filtering for spam. To cool the equipment doing all this work, we use energy-saving methods inspired by the natural environment around us. We also custom-build all of our servers so they are 93% efficient.

Better Electricity

See how electricity travels through our equipment in the most efficient way.

Staying Cool

Learn all about how we use seawater to cool our data center in Hamina, Finland.

Clean Power

Whenever we can, we buy green power from wind farms near our data centers. We provide money to build new wind projects that generate more clean power for the community. This, along with efficiency and investing in other projects, helps us eliminate our impact on climate change.

Making a Real Difference

Find out about a few projects that help us reduce carbon emissions outside of Google and eliminate our impact on climate change.

Greening Our Grid

Learn more about how our clean power purchases benefit the renewable energy industry and the environment.

Instant Delivery

And there you have it! Now you know how email travels to help you keep in touch. You also know more about the innovative ways our data centers protect your information and conserve energy.

This whole trip took just seconds and happens billions of times a day.