7/16/08 – On July 11th, 2008, Google held an Open House for its recently expanded San Francisco office. Mayor of San Francisco Gavin Newson made a congratulatory speech at the open house, sighting Google’s talented workforce and strong commitment to green building and practices as symbols of the new office.
The office, originally acquired in October of 2007, is located at Hills Plaza on Spear Street and boasts an impressive 200,000 square feet for more than 600 employees from the following teams: Engineering, Google.org, Product Management Division, Online Sales and Operations, Global Communications, and Google’s Creative Lab.
Google chose to expand its San Francisco office for Recruitment / Retention and Environmental reasons. Not only does San Francisco have a plethora of talented individuals that already work as so called “Googlers”, but the City also has a wealth of talented individuals that Google seeks to utilize. One Google spokeswomen said, in response to being asked why it took so long for Google to open a SF office, “We’re always looking at where people want to live; where people want to work, and the footprint on the environment…This will alleviate the commutes for some people.”
The official statement released by Google is that “SF is significant to Google as we have many users, employees, advertisers and publishers here, and it is an important base for recruiting. We are happy to have a presence in the city that will allow us to be more responsive to customer needs and cut down commute times for many of our employees.”
Bringing the office to its employees, as opposed to making them commute to the office, is only the beginning of Google’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint and environmental impact. Allowing its employees to walk, bike or bus to work is just one aspect of what really makes Google environmentally friendly. Other notable environmental office policies include:
- No water bottle policy (Googlers are given free Camelbacks instead)
- Participation in SFGreasecycle
- A sustainable Office Build-out / Design
- An extensive composting program
- Environmentally conscious chefs using locally bought organic ingredients
- Energy efficient lighting
- Solar power (the Mountain View office has one of the largest corporate solar installations in the U.S.)
Google’s expansion is exciting for both San Franciscans and Googlers alike and both look forward to the successful future of Google in the city.