Many people believe that when it comes to being environmentally friendly, corporations are at the bottom of the list. They think that when it comes to being green, a business will focus on dollars first and environment last.
Sustainability is the future
The truth is that most advanced thinking businesses understand two key things. They know that consumers favor businesses that have sustainable and environmentally friendly practices. So business owners know that in order to be competitive, they have to have a vision and practices that support the environment.
They also know that resources are not infinite and in order to reduce risk, they need to be forward thinking. The best way to survive and thrive in the future is to plan for it, and that means adopting environmentally friendly practices right now.
Green businesses is also smart business. The prevailing myth that it is expensive to be environmentally friendly just isn’t true. In fact, corporations are learning that they can save money now and in the long run by adopting sustainable practices. And when marketing departments are skilled at communicating green practices to the public, corporations can actually profit from their policies.
Examples of green business
IBM has a global asset recovery system that remanufactures various types and brands of electronic equipment. According to greenbiz.com, the company’s remanufacturing operations processed a quarter-million units of equipment last year.
Patagonia, a clothing manufacturer, has been making top quality fleece from recycled plastic bottles for years. They have a vibrant employee activism campaign and their fiber clothing line is made from environmentally conscious fabrics: organically grown cotton, Tencel® lyocell, hemp, chlorine-free wool, recycled polyester and recycled nylon.
Unilever is a leading green business and has created the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan (USLP), which “sets out to decouple our growth from our environmental impact, while at the same time increasing our positive social impact. It has three big goals to achieve by 2020 – to improve health and well-being, reduce environmental impact and source 100% of our agricultural raw materials sustainably and enhance the livelihoods of people across our value chain.” (Source: unilever.com.)
And they’ve followed through on their plan. For example, they’ve reduced their greenhouse gas impact per consumer use by around 6% since 2010.
IKEA is another organization that has a large yet attainable plan for sustainability. “In 2011, our 60 operational wind turbines combined with the solar panel installations on 40 IKEA buildings generated around 12% of the electricity needed to run our stores and distribution centers.” (Source: ikea.com.)
Green business is all around us. Companies are taking a proactive approach to improve the environment. It makes them competitive and helps them build stronger communities, stronger business, and a stronger planet.