CSR and Sustainability at Google: A Brief Overview
Google apart from being a leading technology brand is also known for its good image in the field of HR. For several years continuously, it has been ranked as one of the best places to work. The company has grown fast into a leading internet technology business that has brought a large range of products and services to make lives better for billions on earth. Google is also known for its philanthropic activities. Till now, it has invested a substantial sum and resources into such activities. From education to employment and more areas, it is devoting its resources to make lives better for people in America and overseas. All the leading players in the technology industry are investing in philanthropic activities including Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Google.
Research and innovation at Google is not limited to product development but to creating solutions for major social and economic problems. Apart from Corporate social responsibility, Google has also shown significant focus in the area of sustainability. The importance of sustainability in the field of international business has grown a lot. Apart from governments, legal agencies and watchdog agencies, society itself has grown a lot more cautious about the impact companies are having on the environment. As a result technology giants are focusing on making their products and processes more sustainable. Some of them are also helping others with donations and resources to achieve their sustainability objectives. Read about Google’s investment in Corporate social Responsibility and sustainability and the kind of changes Google is trying to realise in the US society and around the world.
Corporate Social Responsibility : –
Education & Learning:-
Education and learning for the underprivileged and underrepresented is one of the primary focus areas in the CSR strategy of Google. The search giant is devoting its technological resources to help thousands of them find quality education and a better career. It is not just Google but several other leading technology players like Amazon, Microsoft and Apple are also working to make IT education possible for the marginalized students. It has committed around $50 million to help kids and people in marginalized and disadvantaged communities in several regions of the world. This funding will help fill the learning gap and prepare kids for the jobs of tomorrow. The gap otherwise keeps growing larger and larger.
Joblessness & Poverty:-
Apart from education and learning, Google is investing in projects and non-profit institutions that work to improve the condition of employment. It is investing funds and technology to help people find the right opportunities and to prepare them for the growing number of IT Jobs. For example it has donated around $1.5 millions to Code For America which is a project with its primary focus being job matching. “Over the next two years, Google.org is providing funding and Google volunteers to help Code for America develop and scale new technologies to connect 30,000 job seekers with training and job search support” .
Racial Justice and empowerment:-
Another important social issue that Google is trying to address with funds and resources is racial discrimination. It is devoting its resources to help those who have been marginalized or discriminated against on the basis of race. Google is working to advance equity and inclusion in the American system which is currently marked by a heavy degree of racial bias. People of color are facing very heavy degree of discrimination in the American society. Moreover, based upon data and research one out of every three Black men can expect to be imprisoned once in a lifetime. Grant funding by Google is currently focused on organisations working to addressing racial bias and inequity in the United States. Moreover, it plans to invest in organizations using data science and innovative new approaches to identify and analyze bias in the criminal justice system, and support movement leaders who are changing the national narrative on race. The focus of Google is also on the Criminal Justice system and its digitisation and analysis to identify and address racial bias.
Efficient Data Centers :-
Running a technology business can be profitable but also costly and resource intensive. However, being careful with the resources you utilize helps minimize the impact upon the environment. Google’s global internet business is run with the help of data centers located around the world. These data centers consume a lot of energy. However, Google has created efficient data centers which consume much less compared to the average data centers. These data centers are designed to maximize efficient use of water, energy and other material resources. One of its data centers consumes just half of the energy consumed by a typical data center. The company has also grown its use of renewable energy for data center operations.
Use of renewable energy :-
One of the best methods to minimize the environmental impact of a large business is to use renewable energy. Google had long back set a target of using 100% renewable energy to run its products and processes. The company managed to realise this target in 2017. In its global operations, Google depends fully on renewable energy. It has remained carbon neutral for more than a decade. To achieve, carbon neutrality, it has kept improving the efficiency of its operations and bought renewable energy as well as high quality carbon offsets.
Sustainable workplace and processes: –
Sustainability has been made a part and parcel of worklife at Google as well. The company has also focused on creating sustainable workplaces and processes. Creating sustainable workplaces reduces the pressure on both the people and the environment. When designing products, the focus of Google is upon the user and when designing workplaces, upon the employees. Apart from creating ecologically focused landscapes, Google is also making its building safer and environmentally healthier. These buildings with sustainable designs are meant to sustain healthy lives inside them.
Responsible Supply chain :-
Supply chain responsibility is also a core pillar of Google’s sustainability efforts. The company has also included its suppliers as a part of its sustainability strategy. Google has formed a responsible supply chain program whose focus is to help the suppliers adopt responsible and sustainable practices. The company has also formed a code of conduct that suppliers must follow in order to have minimum impact upon the environment. Google suppliers are being provided the resources they can use to make their business processes more and more sustainable.