Google, like many high tech companies, is known for having an informal corporate culture. It’s perennially mentioned as one of Fortune Magazine’s list of best companies to work for and tales of employee perks such as free healthy snakes and drinks, ping pong tables and a massage room for the use of employees are stuff of corporate legend. For the last several years, Google has also undertaken an effort to make their workspaces as environmentally friendly as possible.
Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California is referred to as “the Googleplex” and already features a heard of grass trimming goats and a 1.6 MW solar array and recently, after an extensive renovation, a building within the sprawling campus was awarded U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Platinum status. Google says this is not its first LEED-certified building, but it is the first at the Googleplex. Additionally, the company claims that they have more than 4.5 million square feet of building space around the world on track for LEED certification.
The renovation included efficient heating, cooling and lighting systems as well as energy and water audits designed to pinpoint existing inefficiencies. The construction focused on the use of healthy building materials and practices.
In addition to the company’s construction efforts, Google is trying to get greener by enlisting the help of their employees. The company’s Sustainable Pursuit program allows teams to earn points based on the office’s green performance. Teams have utilized green cleaning programs, water efficiency and innovative waste management stories. The teams track their results and share best practices company wide.