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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

8 eco-friendly companies and their green secrets

By Theo Schmidt

Low or no emission products are environmentally friendly
Environmentally friendly business is socially responsible
Just because you run a large company, doesn't mean your carbon footprint has to match. There are many well-known companies that pride themselves on eco-friendly practices. These industry giants save money and build positive reputations as a result.

1. Involve your customers

IBM's Safer Planet Initiative was implemented to involve their consumers in focusing on living green­­—just like the company has been doing since 1971. IBM's forward thinking brought them to use social media towards this goal. Between 1990 and 2000, IBM led by example, eliminating 5.1 billion kilowatt hours from their overall power consumption, according to Environmental Leader.

2. Use a holistic approach

Volkswagon makes eco-friendly cars, which is a great way to promote their green initiatives. However, Volkswagon remains a top-rated environmentally friendly company by approaching the entire car making process with a green thumb. Their "Think Blue Blog" not only explains their approach to potential buyers, but also creates a cool culture of thinking and acting sustainably, leading to a product that looks as good as it runs.

3. Be socially responsible

Sony promotes social responsibility in their company by insisting their tens of thousands of employees perform local community service.  These volunteer programs clean up our earth, and strive to make it a better place. Sony does not drop the ball when it comes to sustainable business practices either, they implement eco-friendly measures in their operations as well.

4. Recycle

Samsung implemented a take-back and recycle program in which customers can return old products and the company will efficiently recycle all that can be reused. Your company should at least go as far as recycling within your offices and manufacturing sites. It might sound hard, but no matter where you are located, from Ontario to Seattle, New York to Toronto, garbage bin rental can make the process easy. The company that empties your garbage bin will recycle for you!

5. Find sustainable material

IKEA needs to cut down trees in order to make their furniture, but they are intelligent and sustainable in their forestry techniques—ensuring our rainforests and protected land stay healthy. IKEA also uses wind and solar power; currently these sources supply 27% of the overall power IKEA uses.

6. Reduce emissions

Though Nike produces more than most companies around the world, they manage to keep their emissions low by enforcing strict policies and standards for all of its factories. Through their hard work, Nike has reduced its carbon footprint by 80% over the last 20 years.

7. Go solar

According to Plant Save, Johnson & Johnson is the second largest user of solar energy in the United States. From 1990 to 2008, Johnson & Johnson was able to reduce their CO2 emissions by 9% using solar panels. Their solar facilities are known for their gargantuan size and massive power—their largest provides 1/3 of the total electrical power needed for the entire facility.

8. Plan ahead

It is wonderful to keep your company up to the latest standards in green technology, but without research, newer and easier ways to reduce emissions and take care of our planet will never be discovered. Philips Electronics invests billions into green technology research, from which new and exciting LED technologies have already been invented!

Learning from these big companies is easy, though implementing those lessons can be difficult. But if these large companies can do this on their scale, so can you!

About the author: Theo Schmidt has an interest in computer science and engineering, and he uses that interest to fuel his blogging. Theo also enjoys spending time in the outdoors, and he is passionate about protecting the environment. He relies on companies like King Recycling for his waste disposal needs.

Image license:  Mark Morgan Trinidad B, CC BY 2.0