Google wants to build more sustainable hardware

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Google has announced it is going green(er) in a nod to the environment as much as an effort to appease eco-conscious consumers.

Google was long associated with software and other services, however recent years have seen it grow Apple-esque successes with some of its own hardware. As well as its Google Pixel phones, the company has ventured into laptops and, more recently, tablets, as well as swathes of smart home and health kit following numerous acquisitions.

In keeping with its commitment to transparency, Google has lifted the wraps of some of the eco-focused processes that go into the hardware that we buy.

Is Google hardware eco friendly?

Part of the announcement focuses on the company’s “goal to achieve net zero emissions across its operations and value chain, including consumer hardware products, by 2030.” It highlights some of the steps taken in the previous year, rather than making any bold promises for the future.

Recycled materials now form an integral part of Google hardware, with almost one-third (30%) of all materials used in 2022’s hardware being recycled. Aluminum, stainless steel, rare earth magnet, and glass are all included in this figure, as is plastic, 48% of which specifically is recycled. 

Packaging, which has long been an easy step for companies to take, has also come uncer scrutiny. Google plans to remove plastic from its packaging entirely by 2025, though some criticize the company for doing too little, too late, when it comes to such an easy Earth-saving step.

Volume and weight have also been targeted in recent times, allowing shipment firms to handle more items at once, thus reducing transport-related emissions. 

Of great value to consumers especially is Google’s partnership with iFixit, which allows tech-savvy individuals to fix their own hardware with genuine parts, though this in turn also helps to eliminate e-waste, allowing customers to keep things for longer. They also promise to be more energy efficient when it comes to day-to-day running. 

Google isn’t the only company shouting about its eco-credentials, with each Apple keynote typically taking time out to list off the company’s hardware’s use of recycled and eco-friendly materials. A move in the right direction, heightened competition may see companies striving to meet targets earlier or exceed them, which will only be good news to us and the planet.

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