With a view towards making more environmentally sustainable products, Google says it is using recycled material on all its new consumer hardware offerings, including the Pixel 5 smartphone and Nest Audio speaker. In an official blog post on Monday, the company claimed that the back cover of the Pixel 5 is made out of 100% recycled aluminum, making it the first Pixel or Nexus smartphone to incorporate reclaimed metal.
Google had earlier committed to using recycled materials across all its products by 2022, but says that it has now hit that target earlier than expected. According to the company, the use of recycled aluminum not only eliminates the use of mined aluminum, thereby reducing waste, it also lowers the carbon footprint of manufacturing the enclosure by 35% compared to using virgin aluminum.
As for the new Nest Audio, it contains 70% recycled plastic across its enclosure parts, including the acoustic fabric. It is covered in the same sustainable fabric that Google first introduced with the Nest Mini last year. As for the latest Nest Thermostat, its trim plate is said to be made from 75% post-consumer recycled plastic.
According to Google, its focus on incorporating recycled materials in its 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”.
That being the case, the company is committing to using recycled or renewable material in at least 50% of all plastic used across all its hardware products by 2025, prioritizing recycled plastic wherever possible. “We hope this is a milestone on the path to a future where we design out waste and pollution and keep materials in use longer”, the company said.
Alongside the use of recycled materials, Google is also aiming to reduce the amount of waste materials in its products. Towards that end, the company says it is committing to achieving UL 2799 Zero Waste to Landfill certification at all final assembly manufacturing sites by 2022. The certification means that the vast majority of waste from those operations will be recycled.
Finally, the company also says it will continue to maintain its carbon-neutral rating for the shipping of all Made by Google hardware to and from its direct customers. What’s more, to ensure that the product box itself is sustainable and recyclable, Google says it is committing to making its product packaging 100% plastic free and 100% recyclable by 2025.