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Apr 27

Green Business Trends: The Changing Face of Corporations

green business trendsgreen business trends

As rainstorms get more intense and the heat amps up in the tropics, you may be increasingly worried about climate change and what you can do to stop it.

Environmental activists across the world are trying to change the way we live our lives and are encouraging people and politicians to bring about a revolution.

But you may be surprised to know that the most important aspect of preserving the environment is corporate and not political. Think about it for a moment…

Corporations all over the planet use more resources than even large groups of people ever could. The enterprising machines gobble up all the natural resources in a hyper competitive environment. So, if we hope to fight to protect the planet, the fight must start in the boardroom.

Leading the Charge

Fortunately, the fight has already begun. Corporate America today is a very different beast compared to the one that existed years ago. Companies can no longer ignore their responsibilities towards society; they must prove they are doing their due diligence to limit their impact on the environment or face the risk of losing their customers and support from the government.

Societal pressure has convinced businesses large and small to adopt more sustainable means of production and manufacture. Companies like McDonald’s take a very holistic approach to this issue. They use a scorecard to rate each and every supplier they work with. The pork, chicken and baked goods are all procured from the most ethical and sustainable vendors.

The company is also very stringent about the fish used in its meals. Since 2005, they have moved more than 18,000 metric tons worth of supplies away from vendors who fail to meet their criteria.

Other corporate giants are helping the fight by supporting nonprofits such as Better Cotton Initiative. Retailers like Adidas, Gap and H&M have all signed up for the initiative. The group encourages better methods for growing cotton, which they say consumes 11% of all pesticides used and 2.4% of all arable land.

Changing Norms

American corporate practices have changed substantially over the past decade. As the public opinion on climate related issues has intensified, the actions of major corporations have been under more scrutiny than ever before. Companies, regardless of their size, are under pressure to be responsible to the environment that they operate in.

Consumer consciousness has also shifted to the issues related to the environment in a big way. The products they choose to buy and the companies they choose to support are now more likely to be picked based on the sustainability credentials. This ‘going green’ trend has meant that businesses that adopt eco-friendly methods are rewarded with more success than those that do not.

Even corporate giant Apple has shifted to more renewable energy to support its vast network of servers that run its online services. Google and Amazon are following the same strategy.

And there are now many companies whose sole purpose is helping to save the environment. Small startups are springing up around the country and helping people go green. Xeko is one such startup. It manufacturers kids card games that educate children about the lives of endangered species across the planet. Their games “Mission: Costa Rica” and “Mission: Madagascar” are very popular with parents who want to raise their children with a global and environmental perspective.

Consumer Demands

Huge corporations that run massive factories aren’t the only ones making changes – just as major manufacturers continue to explore ways to decrease water and chemical waste, so too do consumer businesses whose practices have a negative impact on the planet.

For example, some new dry cleaning businesses are using innovative methods to transform their traditionally hazardous cleaning techniques into eco-friendly services. There are a few different methods which claim to be green, but CO2 cleaning is the one that’s been shown to be most effective and most eco-friendly.

Since the carbon dioxide used in the CO2 cleaning process is recycled, this cleaning method doesn’t add to the harmful CO2in the atmosphere, but rather puts it to good use.  Every year, more and more dry cleaning companies are abandoning the old harmful methods and embracing the innovative green methods their customers are clamoring for.

These are just a few examples of the companies that are changing the ways they do business in order to save the environment.

Though the transition is still underway, it’s clear that the old cliché of a corporate bigwig who doesn’t care about the effect his business has on the world at large is no longer valid.

The companies that are rising fastest today are those that are listening to the demands of their eco-conscious consumers and facing the truth about what needs to be done to keep Mother Nature healthy for a long time to come.

 

About the Author:  Jon Wikstrom is a passionate environmental writer and frequent contributor to several manufacturing and environment publications.  As the founder of Cool Clean Technologies, Jon is committed to advancing eco-friendly business practices in the manufacturing field, particularly through green CO2 cleaning that’s applicable to a wide variety of industries. Click here for more.

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