Today, Google committed to making the delivery of its hardware products to and from customers carbon neutral by 2020. And it says that “100 percent” of these products will include recycled materials by 2022.
“We’ve been making consumer hardware like Pixel phones and Google Home Minis for just over three years now,” Google’s Anna Meegan writes. “But building these devices, getting them into the hands of our customers, and disposing of our old electronics can create significant waste.”
The goal, Google says, is to maximize recycled content wherever possible.
“Some people think design is about making things look pretty or look good,” Google hardware design lead Ivy Ross told Fast Company. “And really design is about solving problems for humanity. I said to the team, wait a minute, [sustainability] is just another problem and is probably the most important problem of our lifetime. Won’t we feel great as designers if we are taking that on?”
Google isn’t the first device maker to attempt such a change: Apple, which sells far more hardware than Google, has promoted its use of recycled materials for years.
“We are a young hardware brand,” Meegan said. “And we are looking at this opportunity as a perfect time for us to make a stand and bring something to what we believe customers want in the marketplace. This is something that people want as customers; it’s something that people want as Googlers. It aligns to our broader company culture around thinking about the big unsolved problems of our time. So this is something that we feel is the right thing to do. And really the right time to do it.”