Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Going Green In Business

An increasing number of companies are going green and claiming eco-friendly status but what does that really mean? Here are some companies that have led the way and are showing commitment to green initiatives with their green steps. See how your company stacks up!
Toyota was ranked number 1 in the 2011 Best Global Green Brands. Toyota has become a leader in producing hybrid vehicles with its Prius model. Toyota is constantly looking for new ideas and innovations for vehicle design and demonstrated its commitment to making eco-friendly vehicles through its partnership in 2010 with electric sportscar manufacturer Telsa. Furthermore, Toyota has focused on improving energy use, water consumption, waste and toxic emissions. Specifically, Toyota has reduced greenhouse gas emissions from its transportation and logistics fleet. Toyota has also created the Toyota Green Initiative program to help educate people on how to adopt a green lifestyle. Visit toyotagreen.com for more information.

IBM was ranked number 1 in Newsweek’s 2010 Green Rankings Global Top 100. IBM began its quest to reduce its own electricity and water consumption in the 1990s. IBM has since surpassed many of its goals and has reduced energy use by 5.1 billion kilowatt hours during a ten year period from 1990 to 2000. This amount of energy is enough to power a medium-sized town. IBM is also developing technology to help commercial buildings operate more efficiently. For example, water usage was reduced by 30% in one of their own factories in Burlington, Vt. through the use of its Sustainability Management System technology. IBM is also working with cities such as London, Singapore and Brisbane to solve their traffic congestion issues. IBM successfully worked on a pilot program designed to reduce traffic in Stockholm which achieved a 14% reduction in emissions from road traffic.

Dell was ranked number 1 in Newsweek’s 2010 Green Rankings US Top 50. Dell has become dedicated in making environmentally friendly products. Since 2005, Dell computers have been designed to use 25% less energy than other comparable product which has resulted in over $5 billion in energy savings for customers over the past years. Dell also has a comprehensive recycling program and has used 7.2 million pounds of recycled plastic in manufacturing new computers. Dell’s customers are encouraged to recycle their old products; the company will take back any of its old products or old products of its competitors for free. Customers have many options in returning their old products for recycling: by mailing it back to Dell, dropping it off at Goodwill or Staples locations, or having it picked it up in their home by Dell. Additionally, in 2008, Dell announced an aggressive goal to cut its total emissions by 40% with a deadline of 2015.

Adobe is a world leader in providing a green working environment having four buildings which are certified LEED Platinum. The company’s headquarters in San Jose, California has an aggressive recycling and composting program which redirects 97% of the building’s waste away from landfills. The company has also shifted to a more eco-friendly design for its software packaging.

Unilever is one of the world’s largest producers of household and food products. Unilever’s green initiatives start from the very top of the company; executives are mandated to use video-conferencing technology whenever possible to cut back on business travel. Furthermore, almost 15% Unilever’s energy consumption was supplied from renewable sources as of 2006 and CO2 emissions from manufacturing have been reduced by 30%. Unilever also aims to create eco-friendly products. For example, its Lipton’s tea bag packages are Rainforest Alliance Certified.

BCIT was amongst the top in Canada’s Greenest Employers of 2011 rankings. BCIT earned its top ranking through a variety of sustainability and environmental programs. BCIT launched its first recycling program in 1994 and it now successfully diverts over 70% of traditional waste away from the landfills. BCIT also developed an in-house energy management program in 2001 at its Burnaby Campus. The program’s results exceeded expectations with 10% reduction in energy use, 14% reduction in natural gas consumption and 60% decrease in water use. BCIT plans to incorporate sustainability into its master development plan and created an Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability Practices Committee to oversee this project.

RBC was also ranked amongst the top 100 of Canada’s Greenest Employers of 2011. RBC has established many eco-friendly initiatives such as the RBC Environmental Blueprint, EnergySmart program, and Blue Water Project. The RBC Environmental Blueprint looks at ways that the bank can develop environmental strategies and has three major priorities: “to reduce its environmental footprint; the promotion of environmentally responsible business activities; and the development of environmental products and services.” The EnergySmart program was developed to reduce energy consumption by installing energy efficient lighting at all branches and using certified green power at 96 of its branches. The Blue Water Project has set aside $50 million to fund projects that are focused on accessing freshwater and watershed protection.

Do you know of other companies that are dedicated to the green movement? Write to us and share your positive green experiences with other eco-friendly companies!

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