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Google: Measuring our impact in data center communities

13 Aug 2018

Article by Google Global Infrastructure director Gary Demasi, 04/09/2018

Over 10 years ago, we built our first data center in Oregon. And a few weeks ago we broke ground on what will be our eighth data center in the U.S., helping to run Google’s products across the country and the world.

These data centers contribute significantly to job growth and income gains at both the national and state level. Even more important are the economic contributions that Google data centers make to the communities they call home.

We’ve recently released a report, prepared by Oxford Economics, which details the economic impact our data centers have had in their local communities. The report concludes that, as of 2016, Google data centers generated $1.3 billion in economic activity across the US, and have generated over 11,000 jobs.

Those 11,000 jobs cause a ripple effect—people with greater financial flexibility can support the local economy, which has led to the creation of an additional 4,700 jobs. In fact, when direct, indirect and induced jobs are considered, the report finds that each Google data center job supports an additional 4.9 jobs throughout the U.S.

Last year, we became the first company of our size to purchase enough energy from sources like wind and solar to exceed the amount of electricity used by our operations around the world, including offices and data centers. This commitment to renewables has economic and environmental benefits.

Oxford’s report shows that eight U.S. renewable energy generation projects—most of which are located in states where we have data centers—resulted in over $2 billion of investments, created 2,800 direct jobs, and supported 520 ongoing jobs in maintenance and operations.

What we’re most proud of, however, are the ways we invest in our local communities through workforce development and education. Our community grants program supports important local initiatives, like installing Wi-Fi on school buses for kids with long commutes, and partnering with school districts to develop student STEM programs.

We are proud of our economic impact in communities across the country, but here at Google, it’s about more than just the numbers. It’s about the people we hire and the communities where we live and work.

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