Google posted to the official Google Blog today about many of its efforts in “greening” its office buildings. Anythony Ravitz, the Green Team Lead for Google’s Real Estate & Workplace services unit writes:
Since I arrived at Google in 2006, I’ve been part of a team working to create life-sustaining buildings that support the health and productivity of Googlers. We avoid materials that contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other known toxins that may harm human health, so Googlers don’t have to worry about the air they’re breathing or the toxicity of the furniture, carpet or other materials in their workspaces. We also use dual stage air filtration systems to eliminate particulates and remaining VOCs, which further improves indoor air quality.
Since building materials don’t have ingredient labels, we’re pushing the industry to adopt product transparency practices that will lead to real market transformation. In North America, we purchase materials free of the Living Building Challenge Red List Materials and EPA Chemicals of Concern, and through the Pharos Project we ask our suppliers to meet strict transparency requirements.
He goes on to discuss how Google strives to shrink its environmental footprint by trying to use the most efficient methods of heating, cooling, and lighting, as well as performing water audits and implementing conservation measures.
You might also recall that Google uses goats to mow its lawns (at least it has before). That’s pretty green.
As long as we’re on the subject of Google’s facilities, Googler Avinash Kaushik said on Google+, “By now I should not be surprised when I walk into a Google building. They are warm, welcoming and always have something fun. All around the world. But yesterday when I walked into building 46 in Mt. View I still stopped in my tracks when I saw the attached beautiful thing. It is huge, a gorgeous blue, surprising and the just so delightful. I walked all around and up and down and just smiled. Then went on to do some great work. I wonder if that counts as ROI.”
He then shared the following picture: