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Google To Make All Its Hardware From Recycled Materials

In an official blog post, Google’s Head of Sustainability in Consumer Hardware, Anna Meegan, announced three eco promises the tech giant is undertaking from here on in. The goal is to create less waste and accelerate both its sustainable and ethical commitments over a period of three years, by 2022.

Google isn’t just a search engine nowadays. The tech behemoth produces thousands of hardware products every year, including the Pixel phone, Pixelbook and the hands-free Google Home smart speaker, much like Amazon’s very own ‘Alexa.’ As such, the hardware is the focus of the announcement, as Google pledges to make more eco-friendly devices out of recycled materials.

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“We’re always working to do more, faster. But today we’re laying the foundation for what we believe will be a way of doing business that commits to building better products better.”

What are the 3 changes Google will implement and what do they mean?

Firstly, Google has revealed that by 2020, 100% of all shipments going to/from customers will be carbon neutral. According the United Parcel Service (UPS) a carbon neutral shipment means that the sender (in this case, Google) has offset the climate impact of the shipping, by choosing to support an environmental initiative such as reforestation or funding for solar panels. Shipping pollution is a serious problem; according to Oceana, if global shipping were a country, it would be the sixth largest producer of greenhouse gas emissions. Just the United States, China, Russia, India and Japan emit more carbon dioxide than the world’s shipping fleet.

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The next commitment Google is making is, by 2022, all hardware products will be made principally from recycled materials, with the ambition to maximise recycled content wherever possible. Google has not yet specified the materials it will be using, but these could include repurposed plastic, as Fast company predicts. Google has already produced the Google Nest product portfolio (a series of home products like smoke detectors, security systems and smart doorbells) from post-consumer recycled plastic, according to Anna Meegan. Another possibility is that products will be made from old electronic devices in recycled forms, much like similar tech competitors. Tech companies like Dell collect e-waste from countries all around the world to recycle them into new models, so Google’s new initiative could be similar.

Lastly, from an ethical perspective, Google is planning to expand accessibility to its technology, by putting people first. What does this mean? The tech giant promises to improve the lives of those suffering with various disabilities, for example paralysis. It aims to achieve this through products such as Google Home Mini, which acts as an aid for people through voice command, hands-free technology. For example, turning down the thermostat at home, or playing music, helping those with paralysis to gain more independence.

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Source: euronews

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