Net zero emissions by 2030. That’s Google’s goal across its operations and value chain, including consumer hardware products. Google aims to reduce 50% of its combined scope 1 – 3 absolute emissions before 2030, and plans to invest in nature-based and technology-based carbon removal solutions to neutralize its remaining emissions. This is just the tip of the iceberg for Google. Google is supporting the circular economy, creating sustainable products for its users, and building local and government partnerships wherever it can to advance climate progress.
Google and the Circular Economy
Google’s Cambridge site recycled 42,182 pounds of materials and diverted 36.2% (177,475 pounds) of waste from landfills, composting another 135,293 pounds of food waste in 2021. In another demonstration of its commitment to reuse/recycle, Google partnered with manufacturers in 2022 to launch its Chromebook repair program in schools. Chromebook manufacturers, like Acer, provide training for students to perform their own repairs. Many schools have already created Chromebook repair programs, working alongside teachers and IT teams to repair their devices.
Creating Sustainable Products
Google is enhancing its products to help people make more sustainable choices, for example:
- Project Sunroof, built in Cambridge, uses Google Earth imagery to analyze a home’s roof shape and local weather patterns to create a personalized solar plan for the homeowner.
- The sustainability routing option in Google Maps shows fuel or energy-efficiency estimates on some routes based on a vehicle’s engine type. The more fuel or energy-efficient the route, the lower the car’s fuel/energy usage and CO2 emissions. In fact, since launching in the US and Canada, eco-friendly routing has helped avoid over 500,000 metric tons of carbon emissions, the equivalent of removing approximately 100,000 fuel-based cars off the road.
Growing Local Partnerships
Google’s partnerships with nonprofits and governments facilitate the implementation of sustainable tools, tech, and products. Two examples. Google’s Environmental Insights Explorer helps cities and local governments analyze emissions data and identify strategies for climate action. Google is sharing best practices and providing funding for the Carbon-Free for Cities program with C40,the global nonprofit network of mayors from nearly 100 world-leading cities.
Reaching Net Zero
Google has been carbon neutral since 2007, and aims to be net zero across all its operations and value chain, including its consumer hardware products, by 2030. At Google’s Cambridge site, some of the ways they are contributing to this goal includes tracking refrigerants in a centralized management system, and conducting energy audits and tracking energy data through ENERGY STAR. Google’s Cambridge campus also has seven LEED buildings in Kendall Square: two Platinum certified, three Gold certified, and two Silver certified.