Many big-name companies have gravitated towards more sustainable and eco-friendly business practices in recent years. Although some people may find it surprising that big business is taking an interest in the environment, these ten major companies are doing their share:
In addition to offering The Prius (the world’s first mass-market hybrid vehicle), Toyota is also in their 2nd year of a 5-year environmental plan that sets Earth-friendly goals for production, including everything from setting fuel efficiency goals to waste disposal procedures.
Timberland’s collection of Earth keeper’s boots are made from recycled materials and built to be recyclable as well. The soles of the boots are made from tires, and for every “Yele Haiti” pair sold, $2 is set aside for Wyclef Jean’s foundation, which is spearheading the move to replant the forest in Haiti that has been denuded.
The TJX Companies (such as TJ Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods, and Bob’s) became an early adopters of electronic ballast technology, in 1988, a practice that significantly lowered the use of electricity in the company’s stores. TJX also prioritizes lighting conservation at its distribution centers, which use T5 fluorescent bulbs that use 50% less power than non-fluorescents. TJX’s distribution centers are also structured to recycle the corrugated cardboard that comes in from vendors.
The Starwood Capital Group, the company that owns Starwood Hotels (which includes the Sheraton and “W” chains) is currently involved in building highly efficient, earth-friendly luxury properties. The $200 Million “Seattle Project” broke ground in June of 2010, with plans for a New York site in the near future.
5) Hewlett Packard
Hewlett Packard owns and operates “e-waste” recycling plants that shred discarded, obsolete computer products into raw materials that can be recycled into the industrial food chain. The company has also agreed to take back computer equipment of all brands, and has taken steps to ensure that its own products are 100% recyclable in the manner discussed above.
Starbucks has pledged to reduce their energy consumption by almost 25%. The company’s decision to use coffee cup sleeves made of recycled paper has also saved roughly 78,000 trees per year since 2006.
The world’s leading producer of primary aluminum and fabricated aluminum, Alcoa is a member of the USCAP and has funded Geothermal research, freshwater conservation and entered into a partnership to produce Eco-Friendly buses for the 2008 Olympics.
Honda is taking steps to create an entire infrastructure for Hydrogen, looking forward to a day when more cars will be powered by Hydrogen instead of gasoline.
9) General Electric
Since 2006, General Electric has sold over $12 billion of its Ecomagination products, which include solar panels.
Target launched an “eco-clothing” line at Barney’s, New York, in collaboration with eco-fashion designer Rogan Gregory. The clothing line was created using dynamic fabrics and is available at Target locations.