Thursday, October 15, 2009
We care about a clean energy future and that's a commitment that starts at home. In honor of Blog Action Day 2009 and this year's climate change theme, we wanted to walk you through some of the green features of our global headquarters here in sunny Mountain View, California.
- Getting to work: We've got a shuttle service that brings employees from around the Bay Area to the Googleplex every day. These shuttles are outfitted with wi-fi and fueled by B20 biodiesel. And employees who bike, walk, skip, hop or otherwise self-power to work can earn points that translate into a donation from Google to their charity of choice.
- Turning on the lights: The rooftops at our headquarters are covered in 9,212 photovoltaic solar panels that produce 1.6 MW of electricity — enough energy to power about 1,000 California homes.
- Healthy buildings: The facilities at our main campus use sustainable building materials that are environmentally friendly and healthier, such as "cradle-to-cradle" certified products designed to never end up in landfills, fresh air ventilation, daylighting, and whenever possible, PVC- and formaldehyde-free materials.
- No, we're not kidding: We've been known to use goats instead of lawn mowers to graze the fields surrounding our campus.
- Getting around town: We have a fleet of 8 plug-in vehicles that Google employees can use free of charge to run errands during the day. (In the summer of 2008 our Google.org RechargeIT initiative launched a controlled driving experiment, and our plug-in hybrids achieved more than 90 MPG!) Shared bicycles are also scattered among our buildings for Googlers to use for short trips around campus, reducing the need for cars during the work day.
- Waste not, want not: Waste from our Mountain View cafes is separated and the organic component is composted. As a result, we've reduced waste sent to landfills, reduced greenhouse gases and recycled nutrients leading to improved soil quality without chemicals. And any disposable plateware and cutlery we continue to use in the cafés is now compostable.