Yahoo’s Green Challenge

Yahoo is launching a new portion of its Web site dedicated to promoting green causes and challenging users to pledge to create less of the carbon dioxide gases that contribute to global climate change.

The company is also setting a contest to find the greenest city, by gauging the dedication of its population to the carbon dioxide pledge. The winning city will get a fleet of hybrid taxis or a cash donation, according to Yahoo.

Yahoo is announcing the Yahoo Green Web site and its challenge by presenting New York City’s cab association with 10 hybrid vehicles today. Yahoo co-founder David Filo, Global Green USA CEO Matt Petersen and actor Matt Dillon will be at the presentation in Times Square.

Environmental causes are of particular interest to Filo, and Yahoo is keen to spread the message of green, said Meg Garlinghouse, director of Yahoo for Good.

“Our mission and strategy, and how we can make a difference, is to leverage our biggest asset, and that’s our users,” said Garlinghouse. “The new Yahoo Green site is going to be a one-stop-shop with everything you can do to help fight global warming.”

The Yahoo Green site will include environmental headlines from Yahoo News; features from Global Green USA, Environmental Defense, NRDC, and Lime. It will also carry blog feeds from environmental authority Amory Lovins and Environmental Defense’s chief scientist Bill Chameides

Many companies are “realizing that consumers care a great deal about global warming and the environment and will change their purchasing accordingly,” said Garlinghouse. Yahoo’s efforts aren’t “greenwashing” or the token changes that some companies make. Yahoo Green will be transparent and provide information to its users about where money is going, and the effort will be sustained after the initial splash, she said.

“Yahoo Green isn’t a shot in the dark; it’s a property that will live on on Yahoo,” she said.

The Yahoo Green initiative is part of Yahoo’s “Be a Better Planet,” which stems from the company’s branding campaign, “Be a Better ___.” The campaign’s goal is to inspire consumers and businesses to be better at whatever interests them by tapping Yahoo services.

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