As Google continues to find ways that they can be responsible for their impact on the environment and the community, they’ve recently outlined the next steps in their goals for creating sustainable hardware products. Having hit their promise of including some recyclable material in all of their Pixel and Nest products earlier than 2022, their sights are now set on how they can make them up to 50% recyclable by 2025 in an effort to reduce pollution.
To do this, they are focusing on making Made by Google boxes and packaging 100% recyclable and plastic-free. Since 2016, they’ve decreased the use of plastic in their packaging, but in order to get to 100%, they’re researching plastic alternatives with their suppliers and even doing some of their own in-house research to provide the same protection for products in their boxes.
Because waste material is also created during the manufacturing process of their hardware, Google has been thinking about ways that they can reduce its harm to the environment as well. The only solution is to take a meticulous look at all areas of the process and at all of their manufacturing sites to see how they can reduce waste in each one. They’ve committed to achieving the UL 2799 Waste to Landfill certification by 2022, which will help them keep most of that waste out of landfills and guarantee that it’s recycled instead. Because the UL 2799 Waste to Landfill Certification is a mouthful, we’ve got you covered:
The UL waste diversion validation program focuses on monitoring and measuring material flows that are not part of an organization’s final product. UL offers four landfill waste diversion claim validations to recognize companies that handle waste in environmentally responsible and innovative ways — from energy production via incineration to reuse, recycling and composting. Materials that are not diverted are considered disposed and go to the landfill or incineration without energy recovery.UL – Landfill Waste Diversion Validation
So, as you can see, some materials will still be incinerated or buried in landfills without an opportunity to be reused, but it’s clear that Google is doing what it can to leave the people, planet and communities the way they found them. I’m sure that, in time, we’ll see what they’re doing to reclaim the materials they could not reuse at this time. Their sustainability efforts are a part of their larger climate action plan in which they’ve also outlined their goal of running entirely on carbon-free energy by 2030 to help us avoid some of the worst consequences of climate change. Apple, Microsoft and Amazon as well as other large tech companies have a large impact on the environment and have joined in with their own statements about how they can make their impact positive one rather than negative.