A Google employee swaps out a motherboard at Google’s data center in The Dalles, Ore. | Courtesy of Google

Google’s latest environmental sustainability report highlighted how the tech giant is working to increase its use of recycled materials and decrease its waste. 

The report noted that about 30% of the material used in new products launched and manufactured in 2022 was recycled content, including aluminum, stainless steel, rare earth magnets, glass and plastic. 

And since 2015, Google has resold more than 37 million hardware components from data centers, with nearly 5 million of those in 2022. In addition, 21% of components used for server deployment, maintenance and upgrades were refurbished inventory in 2022.

“We aim to increase the circularity of our hardware products and operations by decreasing our use of mined materials and signaling our demand for a more circular economy in our procurement of recycled materials,” the report stated.

“This is in addition to extending the life of our products through software updates and expanded repair options.”

Google also partnered with doorstep collection company Retrievr to test an e-scrap collection pilot “designed to address the behavioral reasons that stop consumers from recycling.”

E-Scrap Conference and Trade Show

Learn more in person

Scott Shackelford, who leads design-for-repair initiatives at Google, is set to speak at the 2023 E-Scrap & E-Reuse Conference in New Orleans in September. Shackelford will be joining executives from Jabil and other manufacturer stakeholders in a session called “How Sustainability Is Shaping the Future of Device Design.” It’s part of an info-packed three day schedule. Register for the event today.

“Unlike recycling household items like food packaging or shipping boxes, electronics have unique barriers to overcome before consumers feel comfortable taking action,” the report noted. “The goal of the pilot is to study how the industry can reduce barriers and increase participation in e-waste recycling.”

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