Along with a commitment to include recycled products in all of it devices, Google wants shipments to be 100% carbon neutral by 2020

Google HQ (Credit: Flickr, Spiros Vathis)

Google has pledged to make its production and operations more sustainable (Credit: Flickr, Spiros Vathis)

Tech giant Google has pledged to use recycled materials in all of its hardware products by 2022.

The scheme has been set up as a way of cutting down on electronic waste.

Alongside this, the firm has pledged 100% of shipments going to and from customers will be carbon neutral — resulting in a net zero release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere — by 2020.

The new pledge comes after Google cut carbon emissions from shipments by 40% between 2017 and 2018.

In a company blog, the tech giant’s head of sustainability for consumer hardware Anna Meegan said: “Most of us can’t get through the day without a phone, tablet, computer or smart speaker.

“But building these devices and getting them into the hands of our customers takes a lot of resources, and disposing of our old electronics can create significant waste.

“My job is to integrate sustainability into our products, operations and communities — making it not just an aspect of how we do business, but the centrepiece of it.

“It’s an ongoing endeavour that involves designing in sustainability from the start and embedding it into the entire product development process and across our operations, all while creating the products our customers want.

“This is how we will achieve our ambition to leave people, the planet, and our communities better than we found them.”


Google developing devices made from recycled materials

According to a story from the Fast Company, the Google design team is being asked to think about how it can build devices from sustainable materials, as well as making devices that can be easily disassembled.

Recycled material Google devices
Google will add at least a bit of recycled material in all of its devices by 2022 (Credit: Google)

The report states that engineers have already began testing the capability of using recycled plastic in the company’s Chromecast devices.

It also found that Google’s hardware team has swapped industry-standard polyester for recycled bottles to create its fabric in a soon-to-be announced product coming out later this year.


Fellow tech companies’ commitments to sustainability

Apple’s 2019 sustainability progress report announced that 100% of the solder used to develop the logic board found in iPhones was developed using 100% recycled tin.

Alongside this, it revealed 100% recycled aluminium was used for enclosures in the latest editions of the MacBook Air and the Mac mini.

Fujitsu plastic pledge, Recycled material Google devices
Apple CEO Tim Cook claimed the tech giant is ‘committed to advancing technologies that are good for the planet’ (Credit: Apple)

Speaking earlier this year, CEO Tim Cook said: “Apple is committed to advancing technologies that are good for the planet and help protect it for generations to come.

“We are proud to be part of this ambitious new project, and look forward to one day being able to use aluminium produced without direct greenhouse gas emissions in the manufacturing of our products.”

South Korean electronics giant Samsung supports 500 drop off locations and events across the US, with the aim of aiding the recycling of e-waste.

The firm received a Sustainable Materials Management Gold Tier Champion Award for its work in e-waste collection from the US’s Environment Protection Agency in 2018.

Technology analyst at GobalData Emma Mohr-McClure told NS Packaging that Google is just one of many tech firms aiming to become more sustainable.

She said: “Revved-up carbon neutrality goals are a clear Silicon Valley trend right now, as the tech sector seeks to align itself with the Fridays for Future millennial mind-set.

“Google has long been attempting to make its public profile more green, and is anxious to show some near-term progress.”