By April 21, 2016 Read More →

Google’s Earth Day plug in calculates users’ digital carbon footprint

Earth Day plug in measures online usage over four weeks

Earth Day

Earth Day plug-in helps users measure their online energy use which an Earth Day official says “will be eye-opening”.  

To commemorate Earth Day, Google and Scotch Whisky giant Johnnie Walker have rolled out a plug-in for Google’s Chrome browser that helps educate people on how much energy they consume online and calculates their digital carbon footprint.

The plug-in measures online usage over four weeks and calculates the user’s annual consumption of energy.

Michael Thornton, Chief Executive of Carbon Analytics, which helps businesses manage their environmental impact, has worked with Johnnie Walker on the development of Earth Mode.

Thornton says it is sometimes difficult for people to understand how using the internet creates a carbon footprint.

“Each time that you use a website or search the internet it requires a lot of energy to provide the data. Cumulatively across the world, this creates a large carbon footprint.” said Thornton.  He adds “The Earth Mode plug-in is an easy-to-use calculator that is a helpful tool for understanding that footprint. Individuals will be able to see their carbon usage displayed as the equivalent of everyday activities such as using a microwave, driving a car or taking a flight.”

Kathleen Rogers, President of Earth Day Network said “Carbon footprints seem like a foreign concept to far too many of us, perhaps especially those of us in urban environments or not living along a coastline. But we should all be aware of what our energy needs and consumption are doing to our shared global environment.”

“The more readily-available the information on our carbon footprint becomes, the more in contact with it in real-time we are, the more of an impact it will have. No more out-of-sight-out-of-mind. Now, like tracking the battery life on our cell phones, we will know what our computer usage is costing. And it will be eye-opening.”

Along with the Google plug-in, Johnnie Walker will plant 75,000 trees as part of Earth Day Network’s Canopy Project, which has planted more than three million trees since 2011 in areas in need of reforestation, such as East Africa.


Guy Escolme, Johnnie Walker global brand director, said: “We believe that everyone wants their tomorrow to be better than today and Earth Mode gives people the opportunity to make a positive impact on the environment.”



The Johnnie Walker Earth Mode plug-in is available from the Chrome Store for PC and Mac users. Once installed, users click on the Johnnie Walker ‘Striding Man’ icon to reveal a drop-down window that displays real-time online energy usage, and shows how many trees will be planted to offset their annual carbon footprint.

To download the plug-in, click here.

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