Google wants its campuses to help make the world greener, more sustainable

Google is one of the biggest technology companies in the world, with more than 57,000 employees worldwide, many of them located in its Silicon Valley headquarters. Those people and their workspace have a big impact on the local environment, which is why Google has been taking a new, holistic approach to preserving and protecting it.

Google’s workplace and services group launched its Ecology Program back in 2014 and since then it’s taken some big steps to manage its impact on the environment. Breaking down these approaches and initiatives in a new story on the company’s blog, Google explains how it looks to bring some of its healthy and sustainable indoor developments to the wider natural world.

But of course, this being Google, while its initiatives are grounded in sound, traditional knowledge, it also uses data-driven strategies to augment existing know-how. It’s looked to develop habitats that can withstand climate change, are tolerant of adverse weather conditions like drought and support pollinators like birds and bees.

Google’s Green loop is a cycle track that travels around and through its campuses, crosses between green spaces and shops and cafes, which is accessible to both Google employees and the general public. It is augmented by the Charleston Retention Basin, an on-campus nature reserve that features water courses and large areas of packed greenery.

It is worth pointing out, however, that as altruistic as Google’s projects sound, not everyone has agreed with them in the past. When Google wanted to build several accessibility bridges within the basin in 2015/2016, a number of local residents complained that it would disturb local wildlife.

Google contends that the move allowed more local residents to enjoy the wildlife, as well as acting as an added convenience for Google workers.

Much of what Google discusses in its holistic approach to environmental care, is that what it’s doing is for everyone. Its approach looks to improve the environment for individuals, those on campus, as well as regional and global residents. It hopes to achieve this through innovative designs, working with environmental groups and encouraging new restoration efforts around the world.

“We see great potential to transform our local and regional landscapes through engagement and collaboration,” it said in a statement. “While ecology and tech may not be obvious partners, science, data-driven analysis, and transparency are the pillars that will guide meaningful and lasting change in the outdoor environments that we and so many others call home.”