Internet-related services and products
Global technology company in search engine, advertising, operating systems (Android, Chrome) enterprise (incl Google Maps), and hardware products. Founded in 1998, acquired YouTube in 2006. It is the most visited website in the world. Its founders say Google's purpose is to 'organise the world's information and make it accessible and useful'.
| Alphabet Inc
owns 100% of Google Inc
This company is listed on the EPA Green Power Partnership website (USA), as using renewable energy for 107% of its organisation-wide electricity use in the USA.
Source: EPA (2020)
Greenpeace's 2017 report 'Clicking Clean' looks at the energy footprints of large data centre operators and popular websites and applications, and calls on these companies to power their data centres on renewable energy. Companies are graded (A,B,C,D,F) on their commitment to and procurement of renewable energy, as well as energy efficiency, transparency and advocacy. This company's final grade was A.
Source: Greenpeace (2017)
This company is listed as having best practice on a report card on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality in corporate America.
Source: Human Rights Campaign (2020)
This company received a score of 4.3/100 (retrieved 10-Oct-2020) in the Corporate Information Transparency Index (CITI), a system for evaluating supply chain practices in China, particularly in regards to environmental management and water pollution. Scores are calculated using government compliance data, online monitoring data, and third-party environmental audits, as well as trends in the environmental performance of factories in the company's supply chains.
Source: IPE (2020)
The Chinese government has facilitated the mass transfer of Uyghur and other ethnic minority citizens from the far west region of Xinjiang to factories across the country. Under conditions that strongly suggest forced labour, Uyghurs are working in factories that are in the supply chains of at least 83 well-known global brands in the technology, clothing and automotive sectors, including brands owned by this company. The Australian Strategic Policy Institute's 2020 report estimates (somewhat conservatively) that more than 80,000 Uyghurs were transferred out of Xinjiang to work in factories across China between 2017 and 2019, and some of them were sent directly from detention camps.
Source: ASPI (2020)
This company appears on Burma Campaign UK's 'Dirty List' of companies assisting the Burmese military to continue to commit human rights violations and environmental destruction. Google hosts applications created by the Burmese military. This includes one for Min Aung Hlaing, Commander in Chief of the Burmese military, whom United Nations investigators have said should be prosecuted for genocide. It also hosts applications for the Myawady military newspaper, the Ministry of Defence, and military-owned companies.
Source: Burma Campaign UK (2019)
Google has been fined in court over privacy breaches (often in relation to its Street View cars) in several countries including the USA, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. Google faces more lawsuits for violating privacy laws.
Source: Google (2015)
In 2018 Google was fined a record 4.3 billion euros by EU regulators for breaking antitrust laws. The European Commission says Google has abused its Android market dominance in three key areas. Google has been bundling its search engine and Chrome apps into the operating system. Google has also blocked phone makers from creating devices that run forked versions of Android, and it "made payments to certain large manufacturers and mobile network operators" to exclusively bundle the Google search app on handsets.
Source: The Verge (2018)
This company received a grade of D+ in the Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics (Oct 2017), which assesses companies from the electronics industry across three impact areas: energy use, resource consumption, and chemical elimination. Of the 17 companies ranked, this company came tenth.
Source: Greenpeace (2017)
In 2021 Google reached a deal with the US Department of Labour, requiring it to pay nearly $US2.6 million in back wages to thousands of workers over claims that the company's pay and hiring practices illegally disadvantaged women and Asians. Google has faced lawsuits before over claims it discriminates against women and people of colour.
Source: Business Insider (2021)
This company scores Ethical Consumer's worst rating for the likely use of tax avoidance strategies, and has at least two high risk subsidiaries in tax havens.
Source: Ethical Consumer (2018)
This company was one of four companies that agreed to pay a total of US$324m to settle a class action lawsuit accusing them of conspiring to hold down salaries in Silicon Valley by agreeing not to recruit or poach employees from each other. However in Aug 2014 a US court rejected this settlement on the basis that more than 60,000 top-level workers were affected, saying that the amount should be larger. The final amount is yet to be decided.This company was one of four companies that agreed to pay a total of US$324m to settle a class action lawsuit accusing them of conspiring to hold down salaries in Silicon Valley by agreeing not to recruit or poach employees from each other. However in Aug 2014 a US court rejected this settlement on the basis that more than 60,000 top-level workers were affected, saying that the amount should be larger. The settlement amount was changed to US$415m in 2015.
Source: news article (2015)
Freedom from Facebook and Google is a coalition of civic groups pressing for accountability from the tech platforms. "Facebook and Google are two of the world's most dangerous monopolies. They have seized control of how billions of people communicate online, making more than $200 billion a year from selling advertising. They addict us to their services, promote dangerous content, engage in surveillance, and rent out our attention to anyone willing to pay up." The coalition is calling for Facebook and Google to be broken up, regulated, and held accountable for wrongdoing.
Source: Freedom from Facebook and Google (2021)
This company was fined $200,000 by an Australian court in October 2012 over its autocomplete search which linked the name of a Melbourne man to gangland crime. It was also fined $65,000 by a French court in January 2012 over its autocomplete search which linked the word 'crook' to an insurance company.
Source: news article (2013)
This company has agreed to refund US$19m to parents billed for unauthorised purchases by their children while using mobile apps. It also promised the US Federal Trade Commission to change its billing practices for in-app purchases 'to ensure that it obtains express, informed consent from consumers before charging them for items sold in mobile apps'.
Source: news article (2014)
As listed on the We Mean Business website, this company has committed to the following climate action initiatives: commit to 100% renewable power.
Source: We Mean Business (2017)
This company is a global partner of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, whose stated mission is to accelerate the transition to a circular economy. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation works with business, government and academia to build a framework for an economy that is restorative and regenerative by design.
Source: Ellen MacArthur Foundation (2019)
This company is a participant in the Public-Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade (PPA), a multi-sector and multi-stakeholder initiative to support supply chain solutions to conflict minerals challenges in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Great Lakes Region (GLR) of Central Africa. The PPA provides funding and coordination support to organizations working within the region to develop verifiable conflict-free supply chains; align chain-of-custody programs and practices; encourage responsible sourcing from the region; promote transparency; and bolster in-region civil society and governmental capacity.
Source: PPA (2019)
California, the UK and Australia have all enacted legislation requiring companies operating within their borders to disclose their efforts to eradicate modern slavery from their operations and supply chains. Follow the link to see this company's disclosure statement.
Source: Modern Slavery Registry (2016)
Google has bought several robotics firms in recent years including Boston Dynamics which, prior to purchase from Google, was heavily funded by the US military. Many expressed concern that Google was moving towards becoming a major US military contractor, however Google denies this and has greatly reduced its dependence on government funding.
Source: PC World (2014)
Engineers from ifixit.com disassembled and analysed a range of smartphones, tablets and laptops, awarding each a repairability score between one and ten. Ten is the easiest to repair. A device with a perfect score will be relatively inexpensive to repair because it is easy to disassemble and has a service manual available. Points are docked based on the difficulty of opening the device, the types of fasteners found inside, and the complexity involved in replacing major components. Points are awarded for upgradability, use of non-proprietary tools for servicing, and component modularity. Products released by this company between 2017 and 2019 scored between 4 and 6 points.
Source: iFixit (2020)
C- grade in the Baptist World Aid Australia's Behind the Barcode 'Ethical Electronics Guide 2016', which grades companies on their efforts to mitigate the risks of forced labour, child labour and worker exploitation throughout their supply chains. Assessment criteria fall into four main categories: policies, traceability & transparency, monitoring & training and worker rights.
Source: Baptist World Aid Australia (2016)
OpenSecrets.org tracks the influence of money on U.S. politics, and how that money affects policy and citizens' lives. Follow link to see this company's record of political donations, lobbying, outside spending and more.
Source: Open Secrets (2014)
Criticism of Google includes alleged misuse and manipulation of search results, its use of others' intellectual property, concerns that its compilation of data may violate people's privacy, censorship of search results and content, and the energy consumption of its servers as well as concerns over traditional business issues such as antitrust, monopoly, and restraint of trade.
Source: Wikipedia (2014)
In 2020, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) asked companies to provide data about their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change risk. Responding companies are scored across four key areas: disclosure; awareness; management; and leadership. This company received a CDP Climate Change Score of A.
Source: CDP (2020)
In November 2017 the Enough Project published Demand the Supply, which ranked consumer electronics and jewelry retail companies on their efforts to develop conflict-free minerals supply chains from Congo. Companies were ranked on reporting; sourcing conflict-free minerals from Congo; supporting the artisanal mining communities in Eastern Congo; and conflict-free minerals advocacy. This company ranked second overall.
Source: Enough Project (2017)
JUST Capital polls Americans every year to identify the issues that matter most in defining just business behaviour. For their 2021 rankings the public identified 19 issues, which are organised under the headings Workers, Communities, Customers, Shareholders and Environment. JUST Capital then define metrics that map to those issues and track and analyse the largest, publicly traded U.S. companies. This analysis powers their rankings, in which this company ranked 5th of 928 companies, and 1st of 14 Internet companies.
Source: JUST Capital (2020)
As You Sow's 2019 report, Mining the Disclosures, is a deep analysis of 215 companies' human rights performance in relation to sourcing conflict minerals from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). This company's score was 76.7% (Strong).
Source: As You Sow (2019)
The 2021 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World list is an extensive data-driven corporate sustainability assessment. The ranked companies are leaders in the field of a sustainable business approach. The efficiency of a company's energy, water, CO2 and waste management is measured in relation to its total sales volume. The disclosure of that information is a pre-condition for the assessment. Of the 49 companies in its peer group, this company ranked #1.
Source: Corporate Knights (2021)
In 2019 the median pay for a worker at this company was US$258,708. The CEO was paid 1,085 times this amount. Exorbitant CEO pay is a major contributor to rising inequality. CEOs are getting more because of their power to set pay, not because they are increasing productivity or possess specific, high-demand skills. The economy would suffer no harm if CEOs were paid less (or taxed more). In contrast, the CEO-to-typical-worker compensation ratio was 20-to-1 in 1965 and 58-to-1 in 1989.
Source: AFL-CIO (2020)
This company received a score of 14.9/100 in the Newsweek Green Ranking 2017, which ranks the world's largest publicly traded companies on eight indicators covering energy, greenhouse gases, water, waste, fines and penalties, linking executive pay to sustainability targets, board-level committee oversight of environmental issues and third-party audits. Ranking methodology by Corporate Knights and HIP Investor.
Source: Newsweek (2017)
As You Sow's 2021 report, 'The 100 Most Overpaid CEOs', reveals the 100 most overpaid CEOs from USA's 500 largest public companies (as determined by the S&P 500 list). This company's CEO, Sundar Pichai came in at number 1 on the list, having been paid US$280,621,552 in 2020. According to the report, "Most CEOs have come to be grossly overpaid, and that overpayment is harmful to the companies, the shareholders, the customers, the other employees, the economy, and society as a whole."
Source: As You Sow (2021)
This company is a member of the Responsible Minerals Initiative (formerly the Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative), which helps companies address conflict minerals issues in their supply chains. The RMI provides information on conflict-free smelters and refiners, common tools to gather sourcing information, and forums for exchanging best practices on addressing conflict minerals. Membership is open to companies that use or transact in tantalum, tin, tungsten or gold (3TG). Founded in 2008 by members of the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative.
Source: RMI (2019)
This company received an S&P Global ESG Score of 40/100 in the Interactive Media Services & Home Entertainment category of the S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment, an annual evaluation of companies' sustainability practices (last updated 7 Feb 2021). The rankings are based on an analysis of corporate economic, environmental and social performance, assessing issues such as corporate governance, risk management, environmental reporting, climate strategy, human rights and labour practices.
Source: S&P Global (2021)
|Revenue||US$58.6 billion in 2013|
|Employees||47,756 in 2013|
|Subsidiaries||Google Australia Pty Ltd|
|Address||Mountain View, California, USA|
Products / BrandsGoogle Australia
Daydream View VR Headsets
Google Search Engines
Google Hangouts Messaging
Google Home Smart Speakers
Google Pixel Smartphones
Google Play Music Music Streaming
YouTube Social Media
YouTube Video Streaming
YouTube Music Music Streaming