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January 24th, 2017

Google Uses Its .brand To Commit To Going Green

In late 2016, Google Senior Vice President of Technical Infrastructure Urs Hölzle made a big announcement about the search giant's sustainability goals.

"I'm thrilled to announce that in 2017 Google will reach 100% renewable energy for our global operations - including both our data centers and offices. This is a huge milestone."

The announcement was published in a blog post on The Keyword, Google's newest corporate blog located at www.blog.google.

At the same time, the company launched a "new environment website", explaining that this would be its place to "share stories of how we are finding new ways to do more while using less."

Initially this site launched at www.google.com/green, however in late December, the site was switched over to the new address environment.google - with the original domain now redirecting.

I've talked often about 'alignment' in relations to .brands - aligning a .brand TLD to a company's marketing strategy, business objectives, brand values and so on to create more meaning and integration for this valuable asset and improve its chances of adoption and success.

When BMW launched a campaign site at www.next100.bmw, it used the site to look to the company's future and talk about short- and long-term projects and aspirations. By using the .bmw TLD for this site, it was intrinsically linked to the company's vision - suggesting that .bmw will play a role in the future of BMW as a brand.

Google has made a real splash with its renewable energy targets. The announcement was reported on by The Guardian, TIME, Bloomberg, New York Times and more, with several linking to the new Environment page.

The steadfast, future-minded language throughout all this coverage is obvious: "it...makes business sense", "this is just the first step", "core value" and "at the heart of our company".

We can only assume this is no accident. In building a home for its environmental projects and targets on .google, the company has aligned one of its proudest areas of focus with its evolving digital brand and .brand asset.

As the company continues to evolve and create new and ever-expanding products, services and projects, I look forward to seeing .google become a staple element of all things 'Google' for 2017 onwards.

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