Circular economy initiatives are being undertaken across Google’s operations, from the way the company manages the hardware in its data centres, to the materials used in its buildings, to the way its kitchens are operated. For example, over the last five years, it has improved its data centre operations and hardware to gain 3.5 times the computing power out of the same amount of electricity. Since 2007, Google has repurposed enough outdated servers to avoid buying over 300,000 new replacement machines. In addition to its large-scale composting program, Google uses a software system in its kitchens to track pre-consumer food waste.
Google believes that business has a key role to play in being part of the solution to move from a global economy based upon ‘take-make-dispose’ to one that is based on designing waste out of systems. Google’s goal is to embed circular economic principles into the fabric of its infrastructure, operations, and culture.
We speak with Jim Miller, Google’s Vice President of Global Operations, to ask him what the circular economy can do for one of the world’s most influential companies.