Google is pledging to use recycled materials in all of its hardware products by 2022 as a way to cut down on electronic waste.
The goal is to “maximize recycled content wherever possible” for the company’s hardware, Google’s head of sustainability, Anna Meegan, wrote in a Monday blog post. As a result, you can expect future Pixel smartphones, Chromebooks, and Google Home smart speakers to be (at least partly) made out of previously discarded plastic bottles and metals.
One product releasing later this year will incorporate the environmentally friendly design approach, according to Fast Company. The device has been designed with polyester fabric made from recycled bottles instead of fresh plastic; Google’s hardware team spent two years testing the material to ensure it met design requirements and could be supplied in bulk.
The company’s sustainability pledge will also extend to product shipping. By 2020, 100 percent of all hardware deliveries to customers will be “carbon neutral.” This means Google can technically still generate carbon emissions, but they will be offset through other pro-environmental activities, resulting in a net zero carbon footprint
The tech giant told Fast Company it already managed to reduce the company’s shipping-related carbon emissions 40 percent by shifting from air deliveries to cargo ships. In addition, Google is also focusing on making its hardware products easy to disassemble to enable efficient recycling.
“It’s an ongoing endeavor 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,” Meegan said in today’s blog post.
In 2017, Apple announced plans to build products out of renewable resources or recycled materials. This has included using 100 percent recycled aluminum on the casings for the new MacBook Air and Mac mini, and using recycled tin in the iPhone’s logic board.
However, Cupertino also said the sustainability goal will take “many years of collaboration” across the company’s vast supply chain to fully achieve. In the meantime, the company has expanded its recycling programs so consumers can dispose their old iPhones without generating additional e-waste.