Google is 'cutting the crap,' reducing 4 main types of waste

Dive Brief:

  • Google has partnered with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to develop new recycling and waste-reduction initiatives in the coming months. 
  • In a blog post, Google Vice President Jim Miller said the company has reduced waste in the areas of energy, materials, food, and water. Google has repurposed enough outdated servers since 2007 to avoid buying 300,000 new machines. He added that the company has kept 10,000 tons of material out of landfills by recycling demolition waste and on-site materials.
  • At its main campus in Mountain View, CA, Google converts landfill gas waste into energy to supply a portion of its heat and electricity. Its use of drought-resistant landscaping and recycled water for irrigation will mean a 30% reduction in water use this year compared to 2013. Its data center in Atlanta has a reuse water system that recycles wastewater from a local sewage treatment plant for cooling water. 

Dive Insight:

"Over the coming months, we’ll be working with the Foundation to explore and shape a series of initiatives to embed circular economic principles into the fabric of Google’s infrastructure, operations, and culture," said Miller in the blog post. Google hopes that its initiatives will take waste reduction and sustainability "to the next level."

Google is taking many approaches toward zero waste: keeping construction waste out of landfills; turning landfill gas into energy and recycling water. By tackling many areas of waste, instead of focusing on just one, Google is making a significant stride toward a zero waste goal. It is important that companies model Google's approach of tackling multiple forms of waste in order to be impactful overall. 

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Filed Under: Recycling