Google Green

Efficiency

When it comes to running our company, we’re constantly looking for ways to minimize our environmental impact. We value being as efficient as possible in everything we do, from powering our data centers to getting Googlers to and from the office.

Hamina data center

Our data centers

Data centers power all of our products and services. For over ten years, we’ve been building some of the most efficient data centers in the world. In fact, our data centers use 50% less energy than the typical data center. Here's how we do it.

Data center pipes

Our data centers are designed to use as little energy as possible

We drive down the cost and environmental impact of running our data centers by designing and building our own facilities. We install smart temperature controls, use “free-cooling” techniques like using outside air or reused water for cooling, and redesign how power is distributed to reduce unnecessary energy loss. We can only improve upon what we measure, so we calculate the performance of each facility using comprehensive efficiency measurements.

More on our data center efficiency 

We recycle 100% of the electronic equipment that leaves our data centers

We work to get the most value possible out of each component in the system. Before we buy new equipment and materials, we look for ways to repair the server, often with refurbished parts – in fact, in 2015, 75% of all components used in repair were refurbished. We also use refurbished parts to upgrade older servers, prolonging their use. And when we can’t find a new use for equipment, we completely erase any components that store data, and then resell them, putting nearly 2 million usable components back into the market in 2015.

View the case study 

Data center server
Outside view of data center

Our high standards are certified

We're the first major Internet services company to gain external certification of our high environmental, workplace safety and energy management standards throughout our data centers. Specifically, we received voluntary ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 and ISO 50001 certifications. In a nutshell, these standards are built around a very simple concept: Say what you’re going to do, then do what you say—and then keep improving.

We collaborate to move the industry forward

We believe that industry collaboration is important to driving sustainability in the technology sector. We do this by supporting research and bringing thought leaders together to share challenges and best practices.

More on industry collaboration 

2009 conference

Our campus operations

Whether it’s installing solar panels on our roofs or implementing a bike-to-work program, we’re committed to reducing the environmental impact of running our offices worldwide. That means the overall environmental impact from our company and the products we build is lower.

Google shuttle

We promote green commuting

We’ve built a green transportation system that includes biodiesel shuttles and the largest corporate electric vehicle charging system in the country. Every day, our shuttles keep thousands of Googlers out of the driver's seat. Our on-campus car-sharing program includes the next generation of plug-in vehicles.

More on how we commute sustainably 

We're committed to sustainable food

Google is committed to offering nutritious, flavorful food to employees on all of our campuses worldwide. We provide healthy choices, local tastes and plenty of variety in the most responsible way possible. Social and environmental responsibility are built into every part of our food program: from the partnerships we develop with farmers and suppliers to our efforts to minimize waste.

More on how we eat sustainably 

Organic carrots
Google NYC patio

We build greener, healthier workplaces

We work hard to create the healthiest, most productive work environments possible for Googlers around the world. We create buildings that function like living and breathing systems by optimizing access to nature, clean air and daylight. Three of our key initiatives as part of this effort include eliminating dangerous substances, designing energy-efficient buildings and continually measuring and improving upon how we operate our buildings.

More on how we build sustainably 

We’re reducing the amount of waste we send to landfills

Our Bay Area operations are keeping 86% of the waste they generate out of landfills. Starting with a pilot at our Mountain View campus, we’ve implemented a desk-side waste bin system that allows Googlers to sort waste into designated bins for landfill, compost, mixed recycling, and paper. We also train our cafe teams to properly sort and prevent food waste, and have implemented LeanPath, a program that tracks waste produced in the Google cafes, which has helped us save over 392,492 lbs of food since its inception.

View the white paper 

Google MTV restaurant

What others are saying

“Google has one of the largest but also one of the greenest data center infrastructures among the world’s companies.”

Datacenter Dynamics

“Google has been an industry leader in releasing information about the energy efficiency and power usage of its data centers, as well as strategies to recycle water to reduce the impact of its facilities on local communities.”

Data Center Knowledge