Google Pushes for Greener Buildings, Leads by Example

Google Pushes for Greener Buildings, Leads by Example

Google has taken to its public blog to talk about the company's focus on building greener, more sustainable workplaces for its employees. The company is involved in several green initiatives, including energy and water audits, the use of green building materials, and competitive programs that pit teams against each other to become the greener office.

In addition, Google says that it has now added its first LEED-certified building to the Googleplex in Mountain View, California.

LEED, which stands for "Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design," is an internationally recognized certification program for rating green buildings. Google says this is not its first LEED building, but it is the first at the Googleplex.

The new LEED platinum achievement was awarded for an interior renovation which used healthy building materials and practices, says Google. The company now has 4.5 million square feet of building space worldwide which it hopes will soon earn the LEED certification.

Other green building practices used by Google include:

  • Avoiding materials that contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other known toxins that may harm human health by using materials free from the Living Building Challenge Red List Materials and the EPA Chemicals of Concern
  • Pushing the construction industry to adopt more transparent practices when it comes to labeling building materials and ask suppliers to meet transparency requirements via the Pharos Project
  • Invests in the most efficient heating, cooling and lighting systems
  • Performs regular energy and water audits
  • Implements conservation measures and develop best practices
  • Uses renewable energy when possible (like solar panels)
  • Google also runs an internal Sustainable Pursuit program that pits teams against each other to earn points based on their office's green performance, by measuring its green cleaning programs, water use and waste management strategy.

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