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How sustainable is YouTube ?

YouTube & sustainability


YouTube
Reasonable, could be better Click here for score rapport: 7 out of 16

Sustainability summary

Based on our sustainability criteria, YouTube has achieved the C-label. According to us, brand owner Google Inc. is one of the more sustainable website companies, although there are some improvements to be made. Google Inc. achieves this score because the company in part uses green electricity and is making data centers as efficient as possible.

Brand owner: Alphabet Inc.
Head office: Mountainview, CA, USA
Sector: Websites
Categories : Social & Share
Free Tags: Alphabet

What's your sustainability news about YouTube?

YouTube sustainability score report

Last edited: 13 January 2017 by Sebastiaan
Last reviewed: 13 January 2017 by Mario

Questions about Climate Change/ Carbon Emissions

6 out of 9
1. Is there a policy for the brand (company) to minimize, reduce or compensate carbon emissions ? Alphabet Inc. (brand owner of YouTube), implements several measures to reduce its climate emissions, such as investing in renewable energy or implementing energy efficiency measures regarding its own operations (e.g. data centres). Source
2. Has the brand (company) disclosed the annual absolute carbon footprint of its 'own operations' (Scope 1 & 2) and has the brand already reduced or compensated 10% of these emissions in the last 5 years? Alphabet Inc. increased its own operations climate footprint (Scope 1-3) from 1,766,014 metric tons of CO2e in 2013 (see link) to 2,493,347 metric tons of CO2e in 2014. This represents an increase of around 41%. The entire climate footprint 2014 was compensated through carbon offsetting however (see link, previous question). Source
3. Has the brand (company) set a target to reduce the carbon footprint of its 'own operations' by at least 20% within the next 5 years? Alphabet Inc. mentions it has a target to reduce their climate emissions, but does not specify a target percentage or a target year. Source
4. Is at least 10% of the electricity used by the brand (company) generated from renewable resources, such as wind or solar energy? Alphabet Inc. mentions that over 37% of its total electricity mix is renewable, such as wind or photovoltaic energy. However, only around 28% is clearly identifiable regarding additionality and source of supply (see also source links at next three questions). Source
5. Is at least 25% of the electricity used by the brand (company) generated from renewable resources, such as wind or solar energy? See remark for carbon emissions policy question 4. Source
6. Is at least 50% of the electricity used by the brand (company) generated from renewable resources, such as wind or solar energy? See remark for carbon emissions policy question 4. Source
7. Is 100% of the electricity used by the brand (company) generated from renewable resources, such as wind or solar energy? See remark for carbon emissions policy question 4. Source
8. Is the overall average Power Usage Efficiency (PUE) of the data center(s) below 1,5? Alphabet Inc. gives an overall PUE value of 1.12 and declares that this is applicable to overall use of data centres. Source
9. Is the overall average Power Usage Efficiency (PUE) of the data center(s) below 1,25? See remark for carbon emissions policy question 8. Source

Questions about Environmental Policy

1 out of 5
1. Does the brand (company) publish a water and/or land use footprint and is there a policy to minimize, reduce or compensate this footprint? Alphabet Inc. does not communicate concrete information regarding efforts to minimise the impact of its water and / or land use. Source
2. Does the brand (company) have clear objectives to minimize waste, by reducing, re-using and recycling, and does the brand annually report the results? Alphabet Inc. implements measures to reduce its waste materials impact, but does not publish clear annual results of its waste materials footprint. Source
3. Does the brand (company) have a corporate policy for environmentally responsible disposal of e-waste? Alphabet Inc. implements measures for the environmentally responsible reuse, reduction and recycling of e-waste, such as repurposing for responsible recycling. But, concrete requirements and annual outcomes of these measures are not specified. Source
4. Does the brand have a policy to seek out suppliers and/or service providers that conduct their business in environmentally responsible ways and does the brand provide concrete examples of this policy? Alphabet Inc. implements measures for sustainable buildings, such as avoiding hazardous chemicals or using recycled materials. In addition, Google has a sustainable food policy, such as sourcing local and/or organic food as much as possible. Source
5. Does the brand have a concrete environmental procurement policy for all electronics used - including servers? Alphabet Inc. has a responsible manufacturing policy that includes environmental standards, such as managing hazardous substances. However, for its purchased electronic devices and servers for own operations respective environmental policy requirements are not specified clear enough. Source

Questions about Labour Conditions/ Fair Trade

0 out of 2
1. Does the brand have a policy to seek out suppliers and/or service providers who conduct their business in more socially responsible ways and does the brand provide concrete examples of this policy? Alphabet Inc. mentions a sustainable food policy, such as sourcing food locally and the purchasing of items that are not harvested close-by, such as coffee, according to high traceability standards. What these standards are, and whether they cover fair trade aspects too, is however not specified. Source
2. Does the brand have a concrete socially responsible procurement policy for all electronics used - including servers? Alphabet Inc. has a responsible manufacturing policy that includes social standards. However, for its purchased electronic devices and servers for own operations respective social policy requirements are not specified clear enough. Source