No, Google doesn't replace its human workers with artiodactyls. However, it's time to update the skills section of your resume: if you can stand for hours, love animals, and can speak a foreign language (bleating is a foreign language, right?) it could help you land a job at Google.
The Googleplex in Mountain View, California is spread over 12 acres, with lots of grass and trees between the many buildings. Like much of California, Google is headquartered in a region that suffers from severe drought.
Many California companies are taking environmental initiatives and doing everything they can to offset the human carbon footprint. This is also facilitated by the year-round fire season. Therefore, companies are finding new ways to combat climate change.
In the spring of 2009, Google hired about 200 goats from a local company to feed (and fertilize) the grass around the campus. Goats are less noisy than traditional lawn mowers, and because they don't use gasoline, they are considered a more environmentally friendly option.
Google says it costs about the same as hiring a landscaping company, but the animals are also much more fun to watch.
With the worst drought in 1,200 years in 2021, other cities, states and countries are now using old but simple methods to clear dry grass.
Goats are great for clearing hard-to-reach areas such as steep hills or rocky terrain, and a herd of 100 goats can effectively clean up to an acre of dry grass in one day.
Goats' desire to devour everything in sight makes them unsuitable for every situation, but after all, goats are not the main tool in fighting fires.