It seems nowadays the things people want to see in corporations are not limited to the quality of their products and the value of their stocks. A major buzzword in today’s economy is sustainability. With greenhouse gas levels in the environment still on the rise and many important scientific and political groups warning of the havoc the world will face if things don’t change, it’s no wonder that people are looking to the world’s major companies to see whether they are coming up with solutions or if they are part of the problem.
The value people are placing in companies is not just based on how much money they bring to the economy anymore, nor is it limited to the innovativeness of their products. An important part now of what makes a company great is not just what the company does, but how it does it. Some corporations are now even using social media to broadcast messages about concern for the environment. Many are now adjusting their practices in hopes of making rankings of the most sustainable, such as Forbes’ annual list of the top 50 most sustainable companies.
Some Highly Sustainable Companies Today and How They Do It
There are many different ways to approach sustainable corporate practices. Some companies value products that are sustainably produced, meaning that their products are aimed to minimize environmental footprints, rather than just to maximize profits. Another important aspect of sustainable business practice is the way resources are allocated. By evaluating the efficiency of energy use and the sources it is obtained from, environmentally friendly corporations can make a big impact on the world. The bigger the company and the more renewable sources used, the bigger that impact will be. Here are some truly sustainable companies:
Google: Google has been considered a leader in green energy investing for a long time now. The company’s principal for energy and infrastructure has stated that their aim is to have 100 percent of the energy they use coming from renewable sources, such as wind and solar power. Google has invested an amount in the ballpark of $2.5 billion in renewable energy products. The company also played a key role in arranging “green tariffs” that help corporations to buy renewable sources of energy.
Biogen Idec: In 2015, this corporation placed #1 in Newsweek’s list of the most sustainable companies. In the 2016 list it remained one of the highest scoring companies, coming in 11th place. A key part of their ability to do so well at sustainability is through what is called Context-Based Sustainability. They set their goals in terms of an “environmental index,” which means that instead of setting arbitrary benchmarks, they choose projects that have the best potential environmental benefits. This is how they are able to set their ecologically oriented goals in an informed way, and it has been highly effective.
Adobe Systems Incorporated: Adobe is able to manage their energy usage quite well through a multifaceted project delegation process. A major part of their sustainability is their use of Energy Star to determine the potential impacts of certain changes to energy investments. They make sure all of their conservation efforts are certified by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design system. Those projects that save the most energy are given additional support in the form of third-party incentives. About ten percent of their projects are run through simulations, allowing them to estimate annual savings.
Hampton Creek: This company is dedicated to making vegan food products that are sustainable and healthy alternatives to animal-based foods. Their staple product is Just Mayo, a vegetable-based mayonnaise substitute. They have an outstanding social media campaign that involves posting lots of healthy and sustainable vegan recipes. Their Instagram page is loaded with inspirational ideas and sustainable cooking recommendations. They are currently in the final stages of development of a vegetable-based egg substitute that will save a lot of resources and be a go-to product for animal rights enthusiasts.
The above four companies are among the leaders in sustainable business practices. They show that there are a lot of ways to save the planet.
Leading By Example
Corporations often get a bad rep for being major causes of pollution and wealth inequality. As you can see by reading about the corporations in this article, not all corporations are bad for the environment. Through their exemplary practices, these companies lead the way towards a more sustainable future.