What you need to know

  • Google has announced that 100% of all Made by Google hardware will use recycled materials by 2022.
  • By next year, 100% of all shipments going to or from customers will be carbon neutral.
  • Several Nest products are already made using post-consumer recycled plastic.

As part of its efforts to integrate sustainability into its products, Google has pledged to include recycled materials in all its hardware products, including Pixel smartphones, starting 2022. By 2020, the company has announced that all shipments "going to or from customers" will be carbon neutral. It also aims to "make technology that puts people first and expands access to the benefits of technology."

These new commitments, Google says, will build on the progress that it has already made in the recent past. According to the company, it managed to reduce carbon emissions for product shipments by an impressive 40 percent from 2017 to 2018. Last year, Google announced the "Power Project", which will provide one million energy-saving Nest thermostats to low-income families in the U.S. by 2023.

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Google already uses recycled materials to make its Chromecast products as well as the fabric used on Google Home devices and cases. The company also has a recycling partnership program that allows people to recycle their old and unused Google devices. Currently, however, the recycling program is only available in the U.S.

The pledge also extends to embedding sustainability in future designs. As per a report from Fast Company, the design team at Google will now be asked to think about how products can be made to last as long as possible, use sustainable materials, and easy to disassemble for recycling.

Google isn't the only major technology firm that is increasing focus on being more environmentally friendly. Apple announced an expansion of its recycling programs worldwide earlier this year, letting customers send their old iPhones to be disassembled for parts by the company's recycling robot. Samsung, on the other hand, has pledged to use more environmentally sustainable materials in its packaging beginning this year.

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