GOOGLE’S MONUMENTAL PLAN TO invest in green technologies, and the company’s ambitious goal of producing “one gigawatt of renewable energy — enough to power the city of San Francisco,” are both admirable and unprecedented. When I saw the news, I took it as a hopeful sign of big business moving towards sustainable practices.
And then came the naysayers from the financial district:
“My first reaction when I read about this was, ‘Is this a joke?’” said Jordan Rohan of RBC Capital Markets. “I’ve written off Google’s competition as a threat to Google’s long-term market share gains. But I haven’t written off Google’s own ability to stretch too far and try to do too much. Ultimately, that is the biggest risk in the Google story.”
Robert Peck of Bear Stearns agreed that “the headlines were a little scary at first” and said investors were initially worried that this was another example of Google “trying to bite off more than they can chew.” [...]
Rohan of RBC Capital Markets said that the returns were not obvious. “The only positive byproduct of this project that would be anything other than environmental,” he said, “is that it might make Google managers and executives even prouder of the fact that they work there, and it may help retain key employees who think their goal is to do good in the world. But I’m really stretching.” [read full]
We still have a long way to come.