uploads///Google hardware sustainability

Google Turns To Recycled Plastics for Hardware Sustainability


Aug. 8 2019, Published 12:36 p.m. ET

Google (GOOGL) is making some hardware products using recycled materials as it tries to reduce the environmental impact of its operations. By 2022, the company aims for all of its products to include recycled materials as part of its hardware sustainability program.

Google makes a range of hardware products, from laptops and smartphones. It is also one of the world’s top smart speaker companies. Strategy Analytics estimates it sold 4.7 million smart speakers in this year’s first quarter. Meanwhile, Amazon (AMZN) led the market, selling 5.6 million smart speakers. Google already uses recycled plastic bottles to produce some of its hardware.

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Companies aim to cut their carbon footprint

Google aims to shift to sustainable hardware design and manufacturing, and like many tech companies, reduce its carbon footprint. Facebook (FB), for instance, plans to power its Singapore data center with renewable solar energy. Amazon is also striving to run its global operations on renewable energy to reduce its carbon emissions. The company has launched a program that could reduce the number of trips its delivery people make to customers’ homes. The program, Amazon Day, lets customers choose a specific day to receive all of their weekly shopping packages at once.

Similarly, Apple has included recycled materials into its iPhone production, and Microsoft (MSFT) is investing in renewable energy to power its data centers, offices, and other operations.

And not just hardware companies are concerned about minimizing their impact on the environment. T-Mobile (TMUS) aims to power its headquarters with renewable electricity by 2021, and Vodafone (VOD) hopes to reduce its carbon emissions by 50% by 2025.

Google hardware sustainability extends to shipment

Google’s hardware sustainability program goes beyond making products using recycled materials. It also involves cutting carbon emissions in hardware shipments. The company reports it cut emissions from product shipments by 40% between 2017 and 2018. Much of this reduction was due to Google shifting from air transport to water.

Additionally, the massive waste created by disposing of electronics such as phones and laptops is hazardous to the environment. Google wants to extend its hardware sustainability program to involve making products that can last as long as possible.

Currently, Google’s hardware segment is small. The segment, which includes hardware and cloud sales, contributed 16% of Google’s $38.8 billion total revenue in the second quarter. Advertising is Google’s main source of revenue.

Google running global operations on renewable energy

Google’s sustainability push goes beyond its hardware business. The company is also investing in renewable electricity to power its data centers, offices, and more. Last year, the company said that its renewable energy investments in 2017 matched its total energy consumption that year.


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