What attracted me to technology was the potential it has to improve the lives of billions around the globe. Whether it is to provide better healthcare, access to knowledge, improve business, or even personal entertainment, it’s safe to say that the positive impacts have reached far and wide. At the same time, it’s equally important to me to consider the environmental impact that technology can have. Today, less than 20% of e-waste is formally recycled.1 With more people on the planet using more devices, e-waste is expected to grow by 22% by 2030, and this year alone, it’s estimated that 61.3 Mt of e-waste will be thrown away,2 an amount equivalent to the weight of 168 Empire State buildings. On this Earth Day, I’d like to share actions we all can take to reduce e-waste, and the positive impacts reducing e-waste can have on cost-reduction and driving an eco-friendly future.
Google’s commitment to a sustainable future
At Google, we have been carbon-neutral since 2007, and we’re decarbonizing our energy consumption so that by 2030, we’ll operate on carbon-free energy, everywhere, 24/7. So, in the future, every search you do, every YouTube video you watch, every Gmail you send will be powered by clean energy — sources like wind, solar, and geothermal. From 2010 to 2021, we made commitments to invest nearly $3.3 billion in renewable energy projects. While this is a start in the right direction, we also understand that more can be done to curb the negative effects of technology on our planet.
Extending this commitment through ChromeOS
We believe circularity is the next big frontier of digital sustainability. Circularity is a fairly simple concept. Rather than a ‘take-make-waste’ approach, businesses focus on keeping devices useful, productive, and profitable, while reducing raw materials that go into landfills.
Circularity presents an opportunity to challenge the linear business model, and has significant benefits for businesses. The circular economy presents a $4.5 trillion economic opportunityby reducing waste, stimulating innovation, and creating employment.3
We’re also proud to partner with manufacturers that promote sustainability. For example, the HP Engage portfolio of all-in-one systems, tablets, and powerful compute devices help protect our shared future with the inclusion of recycled and recyclable materials. HP collaborates with Google to certify HP Engage devices for use with ChromeOS Flex, which ultimately assists customers with their sustainability initiatives by reducing the need for new hardware purchases.
Start your sustainability journey with ChromeOS Flex
An important aspect of circularity is getting more out of the devices you’ve already purchased. ChromeOS Flex is a secure, cloud-first, and sustainable operating system for PCs and Macs, and can act as a stepping stone for businesses to start their circularity journey. At ChromeOS, we believe the most sustainable device is one that you’re already using. By extending the useful lifespan of your devices, ChromeOS Flex prevents your existing devices from ending up in landfills. In fact, ChromeOS Flex can offer cost savings of up to 96%, emissions reductions of 83%, and e-waste reductions of 100% in just one year.4
By embracing circularity and deploying sustainable products like ChromeOS Flex, businesses can reduce the amount of e-waste they’re contributing to the planet, empowering employees with devices that run like new, and saving on operational costs.
Let’s act together
E-waste is a problem we can all work on tackling. The simple solution of partnering with a cloud-based operating system, like ChromeOS, allows you to make sustainable changes without overhauling your operations. We owe it to future generations to transform our technology device life-cycle management from e-waste to eco-friendly. As we celebrate Earth Day, let us commit to making conscious choices that prioritize sustainability and work toward a cleaner, healthier future for all.
UN Environment Programme, The growing footprint of digitalisation, 2021
Global E-waste Monitor, Unitar 2019
Circular Electronics Partnership, Accenture 2022
Accenture: ChromeOS & Android Enterprise Shared Value Model, 2023
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