Google LLC is an American multinational technology company that specializes in Internet-related services and products, which include online advertising technologies, a search engine, cloud computing, software, and hardware.
Energy and Climate Change
Environment Policy and Reporting
Google just made one of Big Tech’s most ambitious environmental commitments: it will work to run its operations purely on carbon-free energy by 2030. It also announced that as of today, it has purchased enough carbon offsets to essentially cancel out all the planet-heating carbon dioxide emissions the company has released since it was founded in 1998.
Google has been carbon neutral each year since 2007, which means that it offsets the emissions it generates from burning fossil fuels by investing in renewable energy projects or other initiatives that draw carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and into storage. But relying on offsets doesn’t actually wean the company off fossil fuels. Google released 4.9 million metric tons of greenhouse gases in 2018 alone, roughly the amount that more than 1 million passenger vehicles might put out in a year.
Google’s new pledge comes as California, home to Google’s headquarters, continues to burn and choke on the smoke from blazes made more devastating by climate change. “We have until 2030 to chart a sustainable cause for our planet or face the worst consequences of climate change,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in a video released today. “We are already feeling those impacts today from historic wildfires in the US to devastating flooding in many parts of the world.
Last September, Google announced what it said was “the biggest corporate purchase of renewable energy in history,” which increased the company’s wind and solar agreements by 40 percent. The company said it became the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy in the world in 2016. Source
Community Development and Philanthropy
Human Rights and Supply Chain Management
Compensation and Benefits
Diversity and Labor Rights
Training, Health and Safety
Google has the best reputation for corporate responsibility in the world, according to Reputation Institute’s 2018 Global CR RepTrak 100 Rankings study.The study measured corporate responsibility by a company’s commitment to be a fair employer (workplace), its role in society (citizenship), and its ability to meet its fiscal obligations for shareholders (governance).
The Reputation Institute discovered that the tech industry’s overall corporate responsibility reputation declined the most of all industries, with a 3.9 point drop in workplace, a 2.9 point decline in citizenship, and a 2.7 point decline in governance. Tech fell by 3.1 points overall. Google’s saving grace was its workplace reputation – particularly, its employees’ sense of purpose and its commitment to be an equal opportunity employer, said Stephen Hahn-Griffiths, chief reputation officer at Reputation Institute.
“It was successful in other dimensions, but the key differentiator was the workplace,” he added, praising CEO Sundar Pichai for embodying the company’s culture. Last year, the Alphabet-owned company was accused of building a non-inclusive work environment after it fired an engineer named James Damore for publishing a memo that decried Google’s diversity initiatives and argued men were better suited for technology than women. The Damore incident had little impact on Google’s reputation, Hahn-Griffiths said. Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal revealed that Google opted not to divulge it had exposed the data of hundreds of thousands of Google+ users. Google is now shutting down the long-struggling social network. This, too, will probably pass, Hahn-Griffiths said. Source
The search engine giant has received poor marks for its corporate governance efforts from bellwether advisory service Institutional Shareholder Services. ISS cited practices such as Google’s dual class of voting rights. Google outperformed only 0.2 percent of the companies in the S&P 500, placing it at the bottom of ISS’s Corporate Governance Quotient. That ranking gives another bruising to Google, which had a number of stumbles in the run-up to its long-awaited public offering on the Nasdaq last week. And it comes at a time when public companies are under intense scrutiny over corporate governance issues in the wake of financial scandals at companies including Enron and WorldCom.
Google prides itself on its “don’t be evil” motto, and heralded its Dutch auction method of going public as a way to level the playing field between individual and institutional investors. But ISS argued that Google’s governance structure put outside investors at a severe disadvantage to insiders. “For now, shareholders must put all of their trust in an unproven senior management team and a board dominated by early-stage financial backers, who may have short-term interests that don’t match those of other shareholders,” ISS said in a statement.
Critics had raised eyebrows over some corporate governance issues, in particular a stock class structure that gives insiders far more power to control the company than average investors. Despite the hiccups, the stock performed well in its debut, jumping 18 percent on the first day of trading. And although the ISS report gave Google low marks on corporate governance issues, it did look favorably on some of the company’s practices. Google has an audit committee, as well as a compensation committee, that consists of only independent outside directors, ISS said. It also has established a corporate governance committee, regularly reviews the performance of its board and has a CEO succession plan, the report said. Source
Sustainability News Feed
Mar 23, 2020 — This refers to the circular economy (a circular system of reusing materials in production) that Google aims to make and is comprised of a proposal …
Oct 15, 2019 — Google is clearly serious about its sustainability plans. Its internal operations have been carbon neutral since 2017, and it has committed to …
Sep 14, 2020 — “We have until 2030 to chart a sustainable cause for our planet or face the worst consequences of climate change,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai …