10 Companies Going Green

The “going green” campaign is now becoming more popular each day. Many are government officials are now focusing on the environment and concerned individuals are also adapting small changes to accommodate the green life. With the widespread green campaigns here and there, it goes as no surprise that big companies are now putting an effort to “go green”. Many of these big companies are committed to make changes for the better and nowadays, these modifications that happened are part of the sustainability that these organizations are going after. In this article, we have listed 10 big companies that have committed themselves to “going green”.

    1. NASCAR

NASCAR is a 63-year old company which is family run and privately held company, it is considered to be the number one spectator sport in the United States of America. Today it has significantly made “green” changes that have remarkably set standards in the sports industry. All these started when they hired Dr. Mike Lynch, who has a 20-year professional experience in strategic planning which is directed to environmental health and technology in big companies. He is now the head of the NASCAR Green Innovation.

The NASCAR Green Innovation is the program of the company which revolves around emissions, energy and waste. The program was carefully planned in order to accommodate the changes in the organization that will not only benefit the people but most importantly, the environment. The whole program is focused on the value of sustainability that is related to the preservation of the environment. The NASCAR Green Innovation does not only tackle the environmental issues related to the sport but also the important message that is sent across the fans and the sports industry.

One of the notable changes that have emerged from the NASCAR Green Innovation is the “corn-fueled” cars. From gasoline, the cars are now using a biofuel called Sunoco’s Green E15. The Sunoco’s Green E15 is a blend of fuel which has 15 percent ethanol. Ethanol is a clean, home-grown type of fuel which is a practical replacement of gasoline. Since the use of E15, the emissions produced during a race were reduced to 59 percent. The teams participating in the race has also mentioned that Sunoco’s Green E15 has increased the horsepower by 6 to 8 pecent. Such use of the ethanol fuel blend benefitted the environment and the American economy.

Another important contribution that NASCAR has made is their recycling program. This program is a successful joint venture by NASCAR and its sponsors. The company is working with Coca-Cola, Office Depot, Coors Light, Goodyear, Liberty Tires Recycling and UPS. The first successful recycling program that NASCAR had was in partnership with Coca-Cola, in the year 2008 in the Sprint Cup Series LifeLock400 weekend. In this event alone, the two companies were able to collect 15.3 tons of plastic, aluminium and cardboard.

The expansion of the NASCAR recycling program in cooperation with their sponsors aims to collect and recycle more types of materials. Office Depot is leading the ink and toner cartridge recycling at track. Coca-Cola and Coors Light are handling the recycling platform at the Chicagoland Campgrounds, for such areas contribute a third of the total wastes collected during a race. UPS is also playing a major role in the program by piloting the cardboard recycling because 50 percent of the recyclable materials collected is composed of cardboard and paper. Goodyear and Liberty Tire Recyling are also pitching in on the green intiative of NASCAR by managing the tire recycling.

NASCAR is not stopping there; they also have the Clean Air program which focused on lowering emissions by means of tree planting. In every race, there are green flags which drop whenever the emissions produced increase. For every green flag that drops, 10 trees are planted. The tree planting move that NASCAR had included has intensified their goal of neutralizing carbon emissions.

    1. COCA-COLA

Coca-Cola is an American multinational softdrink and beverage company who started with their flagship product, Coca-Cola in 1886. The company has grown to be one of the biggest companies in the whole world since then. It is one of the companies that have not only participated in different “green projects” but have made their own “going green” initiatives as part of their corporate structure. The program they have includes taking care of the sustainability of the company, people and the environment.

The key points that the company has include community water stewardship, energy efficiency & climate protection and sustainable packaging. The company uses the “three R” principle in each of these points. They have managed to create different sets of the three R value in each of these key values so as to fit their going green corporate program. The principles they have were formulated based on the company’s structure and operations.

Community Water Stewardship is reinforced by reduce, recycle and replenish values. Coca-Cola’s products uses water and their operations involved water for cleaning bottles and their whole facility. The company is a firm believer that they have a responsibility to the environment and the community. In turn, their facilities all over the world make sure that the water they have used is treated correctly. That way, the environment is safe when the water is returned. The company also is working with the communities near their plants to make sure that the people have enough safe drinking water

For energy efficiency and climate protection, Coca-Cola has reduce, refrigeration and refuel for its values. Coca-Cola has 900 manufacturing and bottling facilities all over the world. All these facilities are equipped with systems that have improved and minimized the emissions produced during the manufacturing of Coca-Cola products. Aside from this, their delivery fleet follow a strict system that includes optimal delivery routes and minimal stopovers to improve fuel efficiency. The company is now also testing electric-powered delivery trucks that will be used in the future.

Sustainable Packaging is also part of their green footprints. Since 1969, Coca-Cola has been designing their packaging so that it can be a valuable resource for future use. Their cans contain aluminum and more than 50 percent of it can be recycled. The company also has the life-cycle management system which is a great defining factor in sustaining the use of high value recyclable materials and reusable packaging. Coca-Cola is also one of the companies which have visions of zero waste, founded on their packaging’s design. Along with this vision is a present investment on recovery programs for reuse of their packaging materials.

    1. STARBUCKS

Starbucks is an internationally-known coffeehouse franchise and is included in the list of the big companies which have realized their way to “going green”. Starbucks’s own “bean-to-cup” is a series of environmental activities which is rooted in their whole supply chain. Their commitment to go green was inspired by the importance of the environment to their customers and the direct effect on the planet. The supply chain is very important in all companies and Starbucks believes that in order to end in the right path, they should start in the correct way.

The “bean-to-cup” initiative aims to minimize Starbucks’s environmental footprint. This program is composed of seven important steps in the supply chain.

      1. Bean- Conservation

– Since 1998, Starbucks has partnered with Conservation International (CI) which entails the encouragement of the use of ecologically-sound growing practices that makes sure that the biodiversity and economic opportunities of coffee farmers are protected.

      1. Harvest- Coffee Buying Guidelines (C.A.F.E. Practices)

– The C.A.F.E Practices is the name of the coffee buying guidelines of Starbucks. It stands for Coffee and Farmer Equity Practices, it rewards the coffee farmers who meet the firm quality, economic and social standards of the company.

      1. Storage- Burlap Bag Recycling

– Burlap bags are course-fabric bags of woven flax, jute or hemp fibers. This type of bag is used to transport unroasted coffee beans from its country of origin. The burlap bags can be recycled and reused by other industries such as the furniture, carpet and agricultural industries.

      1. Roasting- Environmental Management

– The quality of taste that the type of coffee has is enhanced through the right roasting process. Starbucks roasting plants have state-of-the-art systems that control the flow of smoke and even the smell from the whole facility.

      1. Starbucks Support Center- Packaging and Paper Purchases

– There are three R’s that Starbucks considers when they make their purchasing decisions. These are recyclability, reusability and recycled content. As a result, they have set a standard target of 30 percent post-consumer content in all their purchases related to paper.

      1. Retail- Store Design

– Starbucks coffee shops differ in design but there are a lot of things in common in all of them. One of which is environment-friendly elements and materials. The big coffee house franchise is continuing to look for ways to incorporate these essentials in their retail stores.

      1. Cup- Reusing and Recycling

– This is one of the known environmental-phase in the supply chain because it involves the customers. Starbucks is promoting the use of mugs owned by the customers. In order to reinforce this, the retail stores offer a discount of $0.10 to customers who come in and use their own cups. This does not only provide a more personalized service but it also reduces pounds of paper waste ending in landfills. Starbucks is also donating spent coffee grounds to customers, parks, schools and nurseries as nitrogen-rich garden compost. This donation is part of their reduce campaign.

    1. TESLA MOTORS

Tesla Motors is company that exists to prove that speed and power need not be compromised in environmental-friendly cars. It is an endeavour funded by former executives of PayPal and Google. The company is known to offer cars that have the curb appeal that will get anyone’s attention and are powered by electricity. The cars that they offer definitely fit the mean machine category without the unkind greenhouse gas emission.

The Tesla Motors is a company that build its cars around the driver. They make sure that the vehicle provides the comfort and the speed required by the driver. The electric-powered cars they manufacture can go from 0-60 in just 3.9 seconds with its electric charge. This is already equivalent to 256 MPG. A Tesla Motors car does not only emission-free but it also helps the owner save on petrol costs. With the fast-paced lifestyle that many people have nowadays, time is valuable. An electric car also eliminates the time spent on going to gasoline station as well as regular maintenance.
Since the cars by Tesla Motors run on electricity, these cars do not have tailpipes. Thus, the elimination of carbon footprint present in vehicles that run using gasoline. In fact many countries now recognize the benefits of electric-powered cars. For regular vehicles contribute to global warming daily. Using an electric car also has its perks, for example in the United States; the government is offering $7,500 tax credit for Tesla purchases.

Electricity is generated through many ways and most of the amount supplied to households is from green energy sources. Petrol on the other hand is considered a limited resource. With demands rising for vehicle use alone, people are not certain on how long the supply will last. Statistics show that the United States is retaining 2 percent of the world’s petroleum supply; however, 25 percent of it is consumed. This is why Tesla Motors is offering an option to reduce the dependence on fuel. When this happens, the economy also gets stronger.

    1. SC JOHNSON

SC Johnson is an internationally-known family-owned company that offers household products such as Windex. “Going green” for most people includes knowing what is inside the product that they are using in their homes. SC Johnson has established its green initiatives through the value of transparency. They educate consumers about what is inside their products in order to promote awareness that their products have little impact on the environment.

All companies, depending on the products and services that they offer have legal and regulatory requirements to meet. SC Johnson is a company that does not only follow these but they go beyond them in order to promote a better environment. The company conducts studies and researches in order to replace less desirable ingredients they use in their products with the ones which are better for the environment and the consumer’s health. The Greenlist Process even made SC Johnson’s products better.

Greenlist Process is a system that ranks the company’s impact on the environment by evaluating the raw materials used in the products. As a result the company dropped the use of 1.8 million pounds of volatile organic compounds from the Windex product line. They also slashed 4 million pounds of polyvinylidene chloride from the Saran Wrap, which has proven to be harmful to the environment when it seeps into landfills. Another change that they have adapted is the use of green energy for their plants and facilities.

The SC Johnson facilities used fossil fuel before; however, their commitment to go green resulted in replacing coal with garbage, waste palm shells and wind power. They have cut the greenhouse emissions that they were producing. One of the projects that resulted from this is the Clean Gusts of Green Energy. This project successfully secured a wind power source that supplied the half of the electricity needed to run the Bay City, Michigan Factory. This facility is the home of Ziploc production. It was also the first factory in the area to use wind power.

Another project they had was the From Landfill Trash to Energy Treasure. This took place in Racine, Wisconsin. SC Johnson was able to build their first cogeneration turbine. This powered their largest global factory, Waxdale plant. This is the plant where their famous products like Windex, Glade and Scrubbing Bubbles are made. The plant uses landfill gas to generate electricity and steam for operations. This is also a project that made the company less-dependent on charcoal to generate electricity for the whole plant.

SC Johnson’s third project is Power from Waste Palm Shells. The waste of the palm oil industry in Medan, Indonesia were again, put to good use. The company have launched a biomass initiative that used palm shells in the factory as fuel source. They serve as good fuel with only little impact on the environment. The factory in Medan formerly used diesel. In replacing diesel with the palm shells, the company was able to cut 80 percent of diesel use. 15 percent of the greenhouse emissions were also slashed.

    1. FORD

Ford, a known car company is included in the list of companies who are promoting recycling and the use of green energy. Although vehicles are blamed for contributing to the greenhouse emissions, Ford has been conducting studies and making changes in their processes in order to produce a greener car. The company has invested in renewable energy to power their facilities and had worked on mechanical enhancements on their vehicles to achieve improved fuel economy.

One of the news-worthy stories about Ford is the investment on wind turbines for their Dagenham Diesel Centre in Essex. This project is called Ecotricity. This is considered a breakthrough in the car-manufacturing industry for this is one of the first expanded car-production facilities that use renewable energy for power. Ford is currently working on the third wind turbine. The first two turbines generate 5.92 million units of electricity per year and when the third one is done, the three is expected to produce 11.4 million units.

As part of the green initiative that Ford has, the Dagenham Diesel Centre is powered by a type of green energy which is wind power. It goes as no surprise as well that this is the place where the “greenest” Ford engines are assembled. An example of this is an engine that returns over 76 MPG. The rising demand for fuel-efficient green engines has prompted the company to add another wind turbine.

Aside from renewable sources, Ford is also committed to recycling. The 2011 Ford Explorer model is the perfect example of recyclable materials put into good use. 85 percent of the vehicle’s interior is made of recyclable materials. It is composed of 25 percent recycled fiber. The recycled fiber is used in the seat upholstery, bolster and carpet. The 40 percent is made of polyurethane foam found in the seat cushions and seatbacks. The leftover steel from the F150 production is also used in the noise-dampening fender baffles.

This 2011 model of Ford Explorer is a sustainable product that the company has come up with. It comes with an engine that has better fuel efficiency, recycled materials in the interior and other parts. This will be the perfect vehicle for those who are looking for the “green” package for a car. Aside from these, Ford has also come up with other ways in reducing the Carbon Dioxide emissions. This is a win-win opportunity for Ford because they earn from the vehicle that they have produced and assembled while helping the environment by reducing the waste that usually end up in landfills.

Ford has been using virgin steel and this has resulted to increased carbon footprint. In the new strategy that they have come up with, the company will reduce the use of virgin fiber by 119 tons. As a result, there will also be a decrease of the same amount in carbon dioxide emissions. The virgin fiber will be replaced by recycled fiber. This is considered beneficial for there will be a drop of 20 percent in energy use. There will aslo be a decrease in carbon dioxide output and waste eradication by 14 and 17 percent respectively.

    1. DELL

Dell is a known computer company which has been offering computing solutions for years now. With the dynamic technology present today, computers and gadgets come and go. Unfortunately, computer equipment is among the things that are considered hard to dispose. In fact, many people do not know how and where to dispose of their old computer. This is why Dell is stepping up, to provide assistance and promote awareness about computer equipment recycling. Dell is the creator of the “no computer should go to waste” recycling program.

The “no computer should go to waste” recycling program allows customers to return Dell computers for free. However, since equipment disposal is quite intimidating, the company went as far as accepting old computers from other manufacturers. This recycling program collect monitors, towers, printers and other computer equipment. These are all part of the e-waste or electronic waste category.

Dell is a big company that believes in five key points that revolve on choices that involve technology.

      1. Green is about Possibility. It’s about finding a better way

Dell is reminding the people that there is no need to sacrifice cost, performance or reliability when an opportunity to make greener choices arise. The company is offering useful products and services that address environmental concerns. There will always be better ideas, as well as better means to use available resources like time and money.

      1. Leaders in recycling

Only 18 percent of annually generated electronic waste is being recycled and the other 82 percent end up in landfills. In response to this, Dell is offering people easier ways and options in lessening the number of e-waste that end up in landfills. Dell is presenting the 2 sides of smart energy use, these are conservation and renewable energy purchases.

      1. How much energy do we use and what types

An estimated 812.4 million kilowatt hours has been used in the fiscal year 2011. 83 percent of which is purchases. In heating water, warming and cooling buildings, as well as cooking food, Dell uses natural gas, propane and cooking gas. Diesel fuel is present for power backup and fire booster generators only.

      1. Reducing energy consumption

The availability of green energy provides another power option that can be used in equipment, working spaces and fixtures.

      1. Renewable power purchases

Greenhouse emissions are reduced by energy efficiency; however, this does not completely eradicate them. 8 Dell global facilities are ran on 100 percent non-fossil fuel. Dell is one of the top purchasers of renewable energy according to the EPA or Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership.

    1. CONTINENTAL AIRLINES

Unknown to many, airplanes just like the passenger types also produce emissions because they are also using the fuel to fly. Continental Airlines on the other hand have dedicated its efforts and assets in “going green”. Their efforts in becoming more environment-friendly can be seen through the past decade. The famous airline company has spent over $16 billion in replacing their whole fleet or airplanes by energy-efficient ones. This is part of their commitment to cut down the emissions produced by the airplanes.

Aside from this, the company also invested in “winglets” which slashed 5 percent of the emissions produced by the 737 and 757 Boeing model aircrafts. Since the company had started early in effecting changes, the nitride oxide emissions in the Continental Airlines Houston hub were gradually reduced to a total of 75 percent from the year 2000. The efforts of the Continental Airlines were slow efforts but had definitely reaped good results.

It can also be noted that the big airline company have 13 full-time environmentalists who are helping the company in its continuous efforts of going green. These dedicated environmentalists are pairing up with engine manufacturers in order to come up with “greener” ones, as well as more efficient company operation systems. Continental Airlines is a big company that is going after the sustainability of going green.

Another project that the company has, in partnership with GE Aviation plan is the use of biofuel for airplanes. This is in relation to the continuous efforts of the aviation industry to look for alternative fuel sources which do not produce harmful carbon footprints. This is part of the Eco-skies program that has that is targeting the use of the cleaner type of fuel such as the biofuel. Aside from this, the company has also practiced the waste minimization programs in the air during flights, on the grounds at their airports and facilities.

    1. BANK OF AMERICA

The Bank of America is one of the leading financial institutions in the United States. Because of the businesses operations include finances and monetary transactions, tons of papers are used by the institution. However, the Bank of America has committed to going green by reducing their use of paper and through the recycling program that they have. The company believes that they can provide eco-friendly services that can coincide with business growth.

Before the issue of pollution and global warming has taken their spots under the limelight, Bank of America has already started with their green efforts. From the year 2000 to 2005, the company was successful in reducing their paper use by 32 percent. They were successful in this green initiative as well as with the growth of their client base. There was an increase of 24 percent in their client base.

The company is also known for the success of its own recycling program. This program is directed at their commitment toward sustainable business. This commitment has been with the company for 20 years now. They have transitioned gradually as a part of the environmentally suitable economy. Bank of America believes that a business’ success depends on its ability to adapt to the challenge of the global climate change and its related issues of energy, forests, water and biodiversity.

Aside from their “reduce and recycle” programs, the company is also playing its part in lending and investing in companies that are tackling the use of renewable sources of energy. This act does not only create jobs but it also promises a “green” return of investment. Bank of America is also a participant in natural resource conservation in order to help communities become energy efficient. They are also offering environmental-friendly services such as home energy credit mortgage.

    1. HEWLETT PACKARD

Since the technology that we have today entails the growing number of electronic waste that ends up in landfills, HP or Hewlett Packard is also offering a hand in dealing with this problem. They have committed themselves in handling the proper disposal and recycling or e-waste. Electronic waste needs special attention when it comes to its proper disposal. This is why HP has pledged to help the community by accepting old computers.

The HP alone manufactures computers and other equipment that is 100 percent recyclable. They have invested in research and studies that have enabled them to produce such environment-friendly products. This is another reason why they have participated in the e-waste recycling initiative. In fact, the company has been doing so since 1987. They are promoting helpful options that will help reduce the e-waste for the environment. This also benefits the customers by making it easier for them to participate in the whole program.

HP is accepting all brands of computer equipment for recycling. The HP trade-in program is offering users an chance to capture the fair market value of aging technology and upgrade to the lasts technology that the company is offering. HP on the other hand will make the most out of the equipment they receive by refurbishing and selling the equipment. Some of this refurbished equipment is donated to the less fortunate who are in need of computers. They make sure that all data is erased in the process to protect former owners.

Hewlett Packard is also responsible in handling their own wastes for their processes and systems are motivated by the design which salvage and recycle excess materials. It is also said that companies who manufacture computers that do not abide by green initiatives make it hard for the recycling process. Part of their green initiatives is knowing where the materials come from. This is also the reason why the company has reduced the use of plastic in their products.

These are the companies that have put special “green” efforts in adapting positive changes. They have a good understanding of sustainable business changes that do not only guarantee the return of investment but they also have little or no impact on the environment at all. This list is only a glimpse of the big company operations. This list of companies prove that there is money in going green.