Story at a glance

  • All of Google’s new products are now designed with recycled material.
  • As a major technology company and Internet destination, Google contributes significantly to the Internet’s carbon footprint.
  • The company has announced new goals and commitments towards sustainability.

In the fight against climate change, time is everything. This year, Google announced that all new Pixel and Nest products are designed with recycled material, hitting their goal for 2022 early. 

"As we continue to experience the effects of climate change across the world and in our own backyards, being responsible for our impact on the environment and in our community is essential," wrote David Bourne, Sustainability Systems Architect, in a blog post.


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So if you're shopping green-friendly this holiday season, you can add to your list: the Pixel 5, the back cover of which is made with 100 percent recycled aluminum; Nest Audio, containing 70 percent recycled plastic; or a Nest Thermostat, where the trim play is made of 75 percent post-consumer recycled plastic.  

"Google's focus on incorporating recycled materials in our hardware design 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," Bourne said in the post. 


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As of 2016, Google bought more renewable energy than any other company in the United States, Europe and Mexico, according to Bloomberg, largely through renewable energy certificates (which may or may not go directly to Google's operations). This is partly because of how much energy the company uses, which Vox reported was about as much as the city of San Francisco uses in a year. 

The multinational conglomerate has also come under scrutiny for its contributions to organizations that have either campaigned against climate legislation or environmental protections or questioned the need for action, including the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which the Guardian reported was “instrumental in convincing the Trump administration to abandon the Paris agreement and has criticised the White House for not dismantling more environmental rules.”

But the company recently announced a goal of running entirely on carbon-free energy and continues to promise additional steps towards sustainability, including 50 percent recycled or renewable material in hardware products and 100 percent plastic free packaging by 2025.


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 Editor's note: This story has been updated to include a more specific definition of the organizations Google has contributed to - some of which are climate deniers, while others are not.

Published on Oct 29, 2020