Many companies today are looking towards employing more eco-friendly and sustainable ways to build their products and run their business. The amount of CO2 emissions produced worldwide in 2014 were over 35 billion tonnes. Now this obviously comes from various sources such as transportation, manufacturing, livestock, etc. However many companies, whether big or small, have employees, factories, transport their products worldwide, and can have a major carbon footprint depending on the company’s scale.
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List of Environmentally Friendly Companies
More and more companies are taking a step forward in finding new innovative ways to reduce their carbon footprint while still producing a great product. In this article, we would like to highlight a few environmentally friendly companies who are making an effort to help make the world a greener place to live. We didn’t think it was fair to group all companies together since it can depend on the company’s size and monetary resources that help determine how eco-friendly they can be. That’s why we decided to break up this list into 2 separate groups: large, and small-to-medium sized companies.
Large Environmentally Friendly Companies
Starting off the list of environmentally friendly companies, is IBM. This multi-national technology and consulting company started in 1911 and since then has achieved some substantial environmentally friendly achievements.
A few reasons why IBM is an environmentally friendly company:
- Between 1990 and 2004 IBM reduced their overall power consumption by 6.8 billion kilowatt hours (enough to power the city of San Francisco for a whole year). Within this 14 year time period they also avoided 4.2 million metric tons of CO2 emissions, and saved $550 million through their annual energy conservation actions.
- From 1995 – 2014, IBM documented the collection and processing of approximately 2.1 billion pounds of product and product waste worldwide.
- IBM aims to procure electricity from renewable sources for 20 percent of their annual electricity consumption by 2020. By this time period, they also plan to reduce CO2 emissions by 35% against their base year of 2005.
- IBM’s environmental savings and cost avoidance worldwide in 2014 was an estimated $121.1 million.
To read more about IBM’s environmental achievements, check out IBM’s 2014 Environmental Report.
Johnson and Johnson was founded in 1886 and manufactures pharmaceutical and consumer goods and medical devices. Some of their brand name products include Band-Aid, Tylenol, Neutrogena and a slew of other well-known household items. Although Johnson and Johnson is a major player in the consumer product game, they also have a mission to help protect the environment.
A few reasons why Johnson & Johnson is an environmentally friendly company:
- Johnson & Johnson have achieved a 9.6 percent reduction in facility CO2 emissions against their 2010 baseline.
- Approximately 7 percent of the Company’s energy is currently generated by clean/renewable sources.
- J&J is the second largest user of solar power in the US with over half of its energy is produced from solar, wind and biomass sources.
- The company currently holds 73 Earthwards®-recognized products (a score card used to determine the sustainability of a product).
- Reduced water use by 2.3 percent since 2010.
- Decreased energy usage by nearly five percent, from 12,565 billion British Thermal Units (BTUs) in 2010 to 11,948 billion BTUs in 2014.
- Set a goal to achieve a 20 percent reduction of facility CO2 emissions by 2020 compared to 2010.
To learn more about Johnson and Johnson’s environmental achievements, check out J&J’s 2014 Citizenship Sustainability Report.
IKEA was founded in 1943 and today is the largest retailer of furniture. The company is well known for it’s ready-to-assemble furniture with modern design and simplicity. IKEA is also a leader in being an eco-friendly business as they have already achieved some impressive milestones and aim to attain some even bigger goals.
A few reasons why IKEA is an environmentally friendly company:
- IKEA plans to run on 100% renewable energy by 2020.
- They use sustainable forest techniques and ensure that all wood is sourced in compliance with forestry standards.
- Have invested €1.5 billion up until 2015 (mainly in wind and solar power).
- Set a goal that by 2020 their home furnishing suppliers will be 30% more water efficient than in 2011.
- From 2011-2015, IKEA has cut CO2 emissions per cubic metre of products transported by 13%.
To learn more about IKEA’s environmental achievements, check out their energy and resources page.
Biogen was founded in 1978 and is a large biotechnology company that specializes in the research and development of medication / therapies for the treatment of various diseases. In 2015, they were ranked number one in the world in Newsweek’s “Top Green Companies”.
Here are a few reasons why Biogen is an environmentally friendly company:
- Since 2006, Biogen reduced their operational carbon emissions intensity by 70 percent and water use intensity by 72 percent.
- Additionally, they’ve set a goal to reduce both operational carbon emissions and water use intensity by 80 percent by 2020, using 2006 as a baseline.
- Achieved a Net Zero Carbon Footprint across their value chain by funding certified renewable energy and carbon offset projects to neutralize the balance of their carbon emissions.
- Working towards achieving zero manufacturing waste-to-landfill status at all major owned locations.
To learn more about Biogen’s environmental achievements, check out their 2014 corporate citizenship report.
Small to Medium Sized Environmentally Friendly Companies
Recreational Equipment Inc (abbreviated to REI) was founded in 1938 and does exactly what their name implies. They supply and sell recreational gear, sporting equipment, and clothing. This company has grown substantially since it was founded and has achieved some impressive environmental accomplishments with plans to achieve many more.
A few reasons why REI is an environmentally friendly company:
- Plan to become climate-neutral in operations by 2020.
- Plan to become a zero waste-to-landfill organization by 2020.
- 26 REI locations are currently equipped with solar technology.
- Shifted to 100 percent Responsible Down Standard (RDS) for their private brands products.
- Have six LEED certified facilities,
- Completed a cooling retrofit that resulted in a 93 percent reduction in the cooling energy used to operate the facility (saves enough energy to power six REI stores)
To learn more about REI’s environmental achievements, check out their 2015 stewardship report.
Ecosia is a search engine which donates surplus income and plants trees to help save the environment. Essentially they use Yahoo’s search algorithm and a portion of any money they make through ads that people click on, goes towards planting trees.
A few reasons why Ecosia is an environmentally friendly company:
- Currently, Ecosia has planted over 3 million trees.
- They’ve announced a mission to plant 1 billlion trees by 2020.
- Generated over 2.5 million Euros for forestry programs since December 2009.
To learn more about Ecosia, check them out at Ecosia.com
Similar to Ecosia in that they also plant trees, Ten Tree is a clothing company that has committed to planting 10 trees for every item sold. They aim to plant trees in areas that need it most such as areas affected by mass deforestation, poverty, etc.
A few reasons why Ten Tree is an environmentally friendly company:
- To date, they have planted over 7.5 million trees.
- Only work with companies that can source products through the local region which has in turn reduced approximately 15% of the pollution through shipping.
To learn more about Ten Tree as a company visit their website.
Sunridge Farms is a family owned business that is a leader in the bulk food industry. They pride themselves on being environmentally sustainable by implementing actions that help reduce their overall environmental impact. They also commit themselves to finding non-GMO ingredients whenever possible and stay true to their organic, natural, and healthy brand.
A few reasons why Sunridge Farms is an environmentally friendly company:
- Sunridge Farms completed a solar array in 2011 which now produces 785,000 Kilowatt-hours of annual production (supplies 35-40 percent of the company’s energy needs).
- They offer a bike-to-work program that pays employees $5 a day to bike to and from work.
- Use biodiesel delivery trucks and hybrid cars for its sales team.
- Installed full-spectrum lighting in office workspaces, low voltage / low energy lighting in the warehouses, and filtered air system for staff.
- Installed low-flow water-saving devices throughout their facilities.
To learn more about Sunridge Farms and their green commitments, check out their website.
Wash Cycle Laundry began in 2010 and is a service that washes and delivers laundry and linens. However, their delivery method is not by a car or truck, in fact they deliver all of their products via bike. An environmentally friendly idea that is proving to be both efficient and successful.
A few reasons why Wash Cycle Laundry is an environmentally friendly company:
- They use green laundry detergent and no-perc (a toxic solvent) dry cleaning.
- Bike-powered delivery, meaning no CO2 emmisions.
- They use reusable garment bags and hanger recycling.
- So far, Wash Cycle Laundry has saved 1 million+ gallons of water.
Learn more about this exciting startup by checking our their site washcyclelaundry.com.
We Wood is another company who’s eco commitment is to help plant trees in regions in need. This company uses recycled and sustainable material to create 100% natural luxury watches. They have a strong environmental commitment and for every watch sold, they plant 1 tree.
A few reasons why We Wood is an environmentally friendly company:
- Over 400,000 trees planted.
- They use recycled and sustainable materials to create their product.
- Their goal is to plant 1 million trees by 2020.
Learn more about We Wood’s environmental commitments and reforestation projects.
Founded in 2010, United By Blue is a company that sells everything from men and women’s clothing, to bags, home products, etc. They’ve built a brand that conveys their products will last a long time while also being an environmentally friendly company that helps remove trash from our oceans and waterways.
A few reasons why United By Blue is an environmentally friendly company:
- For every item sold, UBB removes 1 pound of trash from oceans and waterways during their conducted cleanups.
- So far, the company has hosted 142 cleanups.
- In total, they have removed 264,969 pounds of trash from rivers, streams, creeks, and beaches across 23 US states.
Learn more about United By Blue’s cleanup missions to help restore our oceans and waterways.
This list is comprised of companies we believe to be making an effort in implementing sustainable business models as well as giving back to the environment in the process. However, we are aware that many other businesses are also working hard to make the earth a greener place either by the way they do business or the products they create.
Let us know in the comments section if you know of any other environmentally friendly companies that you think should be added to the list.