Google Pixel phones and Home assistants will be made using recycled materials from 2022 © Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Google Pixel phones and Home assistants will be made using recycled materials from 2022 © Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Google sets out new sustainability goals

7 August 2019

Google will use recycled materials in 100% of its consumer hardware by 2022. 

All ‘Made by Google’ products, including phones, smart speakers, laptops and tablets, will be created using recycled materials in the next three years, according to an announcement by the tech giant this week. 

Anna Meegan, head of sustainability, consumer hardware at Google, said: "Building these devices and getting them into the hands of our customers takes a lot of resources, and disposing of our old electronics can create significant waste."

She added that integrating sustainability into its products is "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.”

The move follows similar pledges from Apple and Samsung earlier this year to use recycled materials in the manufacturing of hardware. 

As part of the firm’s wider sustainability goals, Google has also pledged to make all shipments of hardware going to or from customers carbon-neutral by 2020. 

To help achieve this, Google has begun to cut its emissions by switching from air shipments to cargo ships, reducing emissions by 40%, the firm told Fast Company

This has led to departments having to compress development times as shipments will now take longer to arrive yet timelines still have to be met, according to the company.

Meanwhile, this week Tesco announced plans to remove plastic-based glitter from its Christmas range of trees, flowers and plants. The retailer will opt for biodegradable alternatives or remove glitter from ranges altogether.

However, the supermarket has been criticised for making no similar pledge for its Christmas cards and wrapping paper.

David Innes, from the campaign group 38 Degrees, told The Guardian: “The news that Tesco is removing glitter from flowers, plants and trees this Christmas is great but it’s extremely disappointing that they are not going a step further by removing it from cards and wrapping paper. Glitter from these products will be around long after the sparkle of this coming Christmas has passed.”

And yesterday luxury fashion brand Burberry launched a new capsule collection using Econyl; a nylon yarn made from regenerated fishing nets, fabric scraps and industrial plastic. 

Pam Batty, VP corporate responsibility at Burberry, said: “Exploring and using innovative materials that foster circularity is central to creating a more sustainable fashion industry."

She added: "This collection is just one of the ways Burberry is actively disrupting and improving every stage of how we create our products because we know our industry can play a key role in building a more sustainable future through science and innovation.”  

In 2018, Burberry was criticised for burning unsold clothing, accessories and perfume worth millions to protect its brand the previous year - prompting the company to announce last September that it would stop this practice

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