Alphabet’s world-leading commitment to ESG & sustainability

By Charlie Steer-Stephenson
Holding company Alphabet is contributing US$5.7bn to help build a more sustainable world, for our communities and our planet, through the use of technology

Alphabet, parent of major companies like Google and Youtube, recently released its 2022 Sustainability Impact Report. In the report, the multinational technology holding company outlines its plans to contribute US$5.75bn to environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives across its many platforms.

From tackling climate change to fighting for racial to economic equity, Alphabet has been dedicated to helping people from all backgrounds live in a more sustainable world since its inception in 2015. While the company claims to be operating successfully, the report explains that it also wants to take more responsibility for its environmental and social impact, for the sake of our planet and the communities inhabiting it.

“We’ve long believed that over time companies tend to get comfortable doing the same thing, just making incremental changes. But in the technology industry, where revolutionary ideas drive the next big growth areas, you need to be a bit uncomfortable to stay relevant,” says Larry Page, CEO of Alphabet.

Google’s environmental and social sustainability strategy

Google believes that every business should be committed to creating a more sustainable world for our planet and the communities within it. As well as supporting the movement towards a circular, net zero economy, Google is committed to empowering people and places across the world with technology.

Since its establishment in 1998, Google has taken strides to achieve its trailblazing ESG goals. In 2007 it became the first carbon neutral company for all operations, and just ten years later became the first major company to match its annual electricity usage with renewable energy.

“At Google, operating our business in an environmentally and socially responsible way has been a core value since our founding in 1998. We build our products and services to improve the lives of people all over the world.

“As part of this, we recognize Google’s tremendous responsibility to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time—climate change, housing, racial and economic inequity, and the global COVID-19 pandemic.

“We continue to lead and encourage others to join us in improving the health of our communities and our planet.”

Alphabet’s plans for its US$5.69bn sustainability bonds

Part of Alphabet Inc. since 2015, Google also aims to achieve net zero emissions across all operations by 2030. This sustainability mission is to be greatly boosted by Alphabet’s US$5.75bn in sustainability bonds.

Initially announced in 2020, the bonds are set to cover a range of initiatives across various eligible environmental and social projects.

The allocation of the bond expenditure in environmental projects is as follows:

·   US$2.47bn to the design and construction of green buildings

·   US$1.75bn to developing projects on clean energy, such as solar and geothermal power

·   US$1.02bn to improving the energy efficiency of facilities and infrastructure

·   US$22m to the procurement and operation of clean transportation, including electric vehicles (EV)

·   US$8m to the development of a circular economy

For social projects, Alphabet is distributing:

·   US$185m to supporting small businesses following the COVID-19 pandemic crisis response

·   US$148m to advancing economic equity for under-represented communities

·   US$83m to constructing and maintaining affordable housing

Alphabet has already demonstrated its world-leading commitment to creating a sustainable world. Now, the Sustainability Impact Report shows that it will continue to drive environmental and social initiatives for change, with the help of technology, for decades to come.

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