- Google announced it is diverting 86% of waste from landfills across its 14 data centers and six of them have already become "zero waste" operations, as reported by Fortune.
- In addition to reduction strategies and analytics, Google is focusing on better management of its electronic equipment, such as repairing or recycling servers and electronic devices. The company says that last year 75% of the parts used to fix data center hardware came from refurbished hardware.
- Google's Oklahoma site was the first to reach zero waste status, followed by ones in Ireland, Finland, Belgium, Taiwan and Singapore. The company's definition of zero waste includes no more than 10% of material going to waste-to-energy facilities unless alternative options are less sustainable.
This announcement comes after Google already announced waste reduction plans across the categories of energy, materials, food and water last year. Fellow tech companies Apple and Facebook have been working on their own waste reduction efforts, along with many other major brand names.
These types of corporate operations, often housed in large office building or campuses, present a good opportunity for the industry to help achieve zero waste goals. Company culture can encourage recycling education and more dense collection routes are possible. In recognition of the interest in commercial sustainability, the EPA recently added new features to its Energy Star Portfolio Manager tool for buildings to track their waste management systems.