Last year, Google pledged that, by 2022, it would include recycled materials in all of its Made By Google products, a list that includes Pixel phones, Pixelbooks, Google Home speakers, Nest devices, and accessories like phone cases and charging stands.
Today, the company announced it hit one of its goals ahead of schedule: all new Pixel and Nest products are now designed with recycled materials, according to Google sustainability systems architect David Bourne. That’s not to say its products are made entirely of recycled materials, but they at least include recycled materials somewhere in the product.
According to Google, the back cover of the Pixel 5 is made with 100 percent recycled aluminum, and the new Nest Audio has 70 percent recycled plastic, with the sustainable fabric cover it introduced with the Nest Mini last year. And on the newest Nest Thermostat, the trim plate (the part that attaches to the wall) is made from post-consumer recycled plastic.
“Google’s focus on incorporating recycled materials in our hardware design not only supports our sustainability commitments, but also enables our supply chain partners to confidently invest in and develop these types of materials so that the wider consumer electronics industry can use them too,” Bourne said in a statement.
Google said in September it would run its operations carbon-free by 2030 and that it had purchased enough carbon offsets to cancel out the company’s carbon dioxide emissions since its founding in 1998. It’s been carbon neutral since 2007; the emissions it generates burning fossil fuels are offset by its investments in renewable energy and other initiatives. And the company said today it will continue to keep “all shipping of Made by Google hardware to and from direct customers 100 percent carbon neutral.”
In addition, the company says it’s committing to using recycled or renewable material in at least 50 percent of all plastic used across all of its hardware products by 2025. Also by 2025, Google says it will make its product packaging 100 percent plastic free and 100 percent recyclable. “We’ve already made a reduction in plastic use in our packaging since 2016, but we have a lot of hard work ahead in order to meet this new goal,” Bourne said, adding that the company will need to “uncover alternative, recyclable materials” that will still protect its products.
And Google says it is working toward achieving zero waste-to-landfill certification at all of its final assembly manufacturing sites by 2022, meaning the majority of waste from those operations will be recycled.