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Google, IBM underreporting greenhouse gas emissions, study says

Corporate reports from 56 tech firms omit "half of the total emissions" on average, the researchers found.

Google's campus next to headquarters in Mountain View, California
Stephen Shankland/CNET

Google and IBM are among 56 top tech companies that fail to disclose all of their greenhouse gas emissions, according to newly published research. "In a case study of the tech sector, we find that corporate reports omit half of the total emissions," the study found on average among the 56 companies. 

Researchers at Technical University of Munich analyzed the type of emissions known as scope 3, according to the study published late last week in the journal Nature Communications. They found, for example, that Google parent company Alphabet reported emissions consistently but failed to include certain emissions in those reports. IBM was found to have issued inconsistent reports on its carbon footprint, excluding certain types of emissions and reporting different emissions to different audiences. 

Neither Google nor IBM immediately responded to CNET's request for comment.