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“Made by Google” products go Green!

 

Author – Irene Anna Kurien

 

A year passed since Google made one of the most ambitious environmental commitments that by 2022, 100 percent of Made by Google products (Pixel phones, Pixelbooks, Google Home speakers, Nest devices, and other phone accessories) will include recycled materials. On 26th October 2020, David Bourne, Sustainability Systems Architect at Google, announced (blog) that the company had hit the goal ahead of its 2022 target.

 

As per the blog post, Pixel 5 smartphones and Nest products are the new launches that use recyclable material. 

  1. The back-covering of all the newly launched Pixel 5 smartphones are made with one hundred percent recycled aluminum, lowering the carbon footprint by 35 percent compared to using virgin aluminum. 
  2. The Nest Audio contains 70 percent recycled plastic with its enclosure parts using the same sustainable fabric employed in Nest Mini.
  3. The trim plate of the Nest Mini Thermostat uses 75 percent post-consumer recycled plastic.

 

The company’s vision of incorporating recycled materials in the hardware designs “not only supports our sustainability commitments but also enables our supply chain partners to confidently invest in and develop these types of materials, so that the wider consumer electronics industry can use them too.” says Bourne.

 

With this achievement in hand, the Google team has decided to revamp its goals and raise the bar well beyond industry norms. They are now committed to replacing at least fifty percent of the plastic used across its hardware products with recycled or renewable materials, prioritizing recycled plastic, by 2025. 

 

Apart from making the products sustainable, it is also inevitable to adopt measures to combat waste generation during the manufacturing period and the different layers of the supply chain. To achieve this goal, Google committed to pulling off the UL 2799 Zero Waste to Landfill certification for all final assembly manufacturing sites by 2022. This certification will ensure that a majority of waste from those manufacturing sites is recycled.

 

Back in September, the tech giant also declared that they would operate on 24/7 carbon-free energy in all their data centers and campuses worldwide by 2030, alongside using more recycled or renewable materials in both hardware products and packaging. Google has also committed to eliminate plastic from packing and make all packing fully recyclable by 2025. They promise us 100% of shipments for all hardware made by Google will be carbon neutral. “We’ve already made a reduction in plastic use in our packaging since 2016, but we have a lot of hard work ahead in order to meet this new goal,” said Bourne in the blog post. To achieve this, they need to “uncover alternative, recyclable materials” that will safeguard the quality of the products.

 

Google being the first major company to become carbon neutral in 2007, and the first to match the energy use with one hundred percent renewable energy in 2017, and the world’s largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy, these new commitments are one of the many promises they have made around sustainability. 

 

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Irene Anna Kurien

Author
Rajiv Gandhi Institute Of Technology

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