Google announced its climate action plan for the next decade earlier this year and committed last year to using recycled material in all of its products by 2022.
Google, one of the Big Five technology companies in the US information technology industry, along with Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft, said it has included recycled material in its new Pixel 5 and Nest.
“The back housing (or the back cover) of the recently launched Pixel 5 is made with 100% recycled aluminium. This is our first phone to incorporate recycled aluminium, which not only eliminates the use of mined aluminium in the enclosure and reduces waste, it also lowers the carbon footprint of manufacturing the enclosure by 35% compared to using virgin aluminium,” said David Bourne, Google’s Sustainability Systems Architect, said in a blog post.
“The new Nest Audio contains 70% recycled plastic across its enclosure parts including the acoustic fabric, and is covered in the same sustainable fabric that we first introduced with Nest Mini last year. And for our latest Nest Thermostat, we made the trim plate from 75% 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.”
The use of recycled material in the Pixel 5 and Nest prompted Google to update its original goal and commit to using recycled or renewable material in at least 50% of all plastic used across all hardware products by 2025, prioritising recycled plastic.
“Our new 50% commitment raises the bar well beyond industry standards. We hope this is a milestone on the path to a future where we design out waste and pollution and keep materials in use longer,” said Bourne.
Google also has committed to achieving UL 2799 Zero Waste to Landfill certification at all final assembly manufacturing sites by 2022.
Finally, Bourne states, Google will continue to keep all shipping of Made by Google hardware to and from direct customers 100% carbon neutral.
“And we want to take things a step further by ensuring that the product box itself is sustainable and recyclable, removing headaches for the recyclers who process it. So by 2025, we’re committing to making our product packaging 100% plastic free and 100% recyclable. 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. To get us there, we need to uncover alternative, recyclable materials that will still protect our products. It’ll take partnering with our suppliers, tinkering in the lab and sharing learnings across the industry, but we’ll get there.”