• Google Reveals Size of its Data Center Emissions: You may have heard by now, but Google disclosed its carbon footprint for the first time. Not surprisingly, it's pretty big: Nearly 1.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent are produced every year by the Internet behemoth. Beyond efficiency and purchasing green power, the company buys offsets to bring its net carbon impact to zero. Google claims that switching over to Gmail is nearly 80 times more energy efficient than using an in-house email system, while its data centers consume about half the energy as their conventional counterparts. For more on the company's environmental footprint, see the Google Green blog.
• FBI Targets Solyndra: The Solyndra bankruptcy story took a dramatic turn Thursday as FBI agents raided the defunct solar panel producer that received a $535 million government loan. The company shut its doors last week, laying off 1,100 workers, just two months after the CEO visited D.C. promoting the company and loan. ABC News reported today that officials from the Department of Energy sat in on Solyndra board meetings as "observers." Several sources in the media noted today that President Barack Obama, who famously toured the Solyndra plant two years ago, didn't mention green energy once in his jobs speech last night.
• Renewable Energy Pays: President Obama may have been dodging talk of green power in light of the Solyndra disaster, but across the Atlantic, the Carbon Trust released a report yesterday that found U.K. businesses may enjoy an average return of between 11 and 12 percent for their green power investments -- and perhaps even greater than 20 percent. That's because a compelling business case is emerging due to rising energy prices, which could surge as much as 37 percent by 2020, as well as a slew of financial incentives, such as feed-in tariffs and the renewable heat incentive, which provides long-term financial support for renewable heat installations.
• 9/11 Environmental Concerns Persist 10 Years Later: Sunday marks the solemn 10-year anniversary of that horrific day, which aside from the heartbreaking human toll, also resulted in an environmental disaster due to toxic dust from the collapse of the Twin Towers. Reports today suggest officials downplayed the health risks from exposure to the ground zero dust. For more, see ProPublica's examination of records it claims "give the most detailed account yet of how officials kept potentially disturbing data about health risks from the public."
• Starbucks Convenes Third Cup Summit: We'll be keeping an eye on any new developments from Starbucks' third cup summit being held today at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The coffee giant began bringing together experts and members of its supply chain in 2009 to help move the company toward its goal that by 2015, all of its cups are either reusable or recyclable. Since then, the company has implemented recycling programs in 18 markets and tested used paper cups that could be recycled into new ones. Stay tuned.
Image CC licensed by Flickr user Yodel Anecdotal.