Amongst the stories of environmental doom and gloom, it is uplifting to hear that some of the biggest companies on the planet are implementing ways in which to reduce their carbon footprint. In the past, some of the companies have been the biggest polluters and manufacturers of waste so that it’s heartening that a change in consumer consciousness has led to a re-thinking of corporate structure from an environmental perspective.
Where environmentalism was once a side note (possibly even a joke) it has now become a priority on the agenda of several corporate notepads. Every one of us makes daily decisions that include how we interact with goods and what effect these have on the environment. The power of choice is an individuals vote for the kind of future they hope to see (and big companies are beginning to see the light).
Some of the most popular companies out there are determined to set an example and show people that being environmentally friendly isn’t only a necessity, but also a reward. We’ve gathered together a number of those stories for you to enjoy.
For Panasonic, the thought of sustainability has become an important part of their business for some time. This Japanese giant has been supplying the world with digital products for decades and saw the writing on the wall when it came to their ecological policy.
When Panasonic decided to create a new place in Newark in 2013, the company tried a different approach to the way they design and build new premises. The new Panasonic tower in Newark is LEED certified, meaning that it meets international standards in buildings designed for energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction and improved indoor environmental quality. Besides this, the tower is very near one of the most used transit nodes in the area, allowing employees a convenient way to get to work instead of driving. It’s estimated that this decision by Panasonic keeps 500 cars off the public roads each and every day.
While Apple is a company known for bringing innovative technology to the market they are less well-known as a green energy company. Their priorities are beginning to shift and the company has increased their efforts in making the business more environmentally friendly.
For example, the organization will launch a version of a cell phone that’s made entirely out of recycled components. A notable phrase in their website is’Mining less from the earth. And more from old devices.’ Their purpose is to make products using only renewable resources or recycled material. A challenge they face is actually disassembling old products and retrieving the many small pieces contained within. The solution? Daisy, the recycling robot, is a new disassembly robot being trialled by Apple that could take apart 200 iPhones an hour and recover the material from each to be used in a new item.
Ten years ago, Walmart’s CEO at the time proclaimed that the company was on the path to sustainability. He spoke about the company using only renewable energy, eliminating waste and promoting more organic products. A decade on and the company sat down to have a review on their progress. Happily, in some cases they were farther down the road than they had realised.
As an example, a goal for the business was a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 20m metric tons by 2010. They exceeded this and attained a 28.2m metric tons total which is the equivalent of eliminating 5.9 million cars off the road for a year. Fertiliser use on farms growing Walmart create was one of the industries where they made the largest impact on emissions and was largely because of working with their providers.
In the last decade, the company has also contributed to maintaining over one million acres of wildlife habitat.
Ikea knows the value of clean energy
Back in 2015, Ikea announced a plan that was going to enhance the sustainability of the business, by not investing in renewable energy, but also using it to the business’s offices and stores.
The furniture conglomerate is also committed to selling only LED bulbs in an initiative to promote green energy to their customers who they believe will ultimately reap the benefits through energy savings. This is part of a strategy to”offer products and solutions that help clients to save money by using less energy and water and reducing waste”.
Among other things, IKEA are currently sourcing half of their wood supply from FSC-certified forests, promoting clean water projects and sourcing chemical-free, sustainable cotton purchased from certified farmers.