Various governments have passed environmental laws controlling what type of materials companies can use to manufacture products. This is for the sake of saving the environment and stopping climate change.
For example, the U.S. government passed the Clean Air Act in 1970 and all companies operating in the U.S. must follow it. The laws are designed to reduce air pollutants and stop climate change; they also address such issues as chemical emissions from factories and cars, and water pollutants.
Though the government was able to pass the Act despite the number of individuals, lobby groups, and manufacturers protesting the research, individuals and companies must increase their environmentally friendly activities in order to continue protecting the Earth, reverse environmental damage, and prevent climate change from getting worse.
Newsweek Green Rankings
Every year, Newsweek evaluates the top 500 global and top 500 U.S. companies, all of which are publicly traded, to determine how green the companies are. According to the most recent report, the 2012 Newsweek Green Rankings report, the following companies are the top four on the global list:
• Santander Brasil (Brazil) is #1 globally, #1 in Financials, and has a 85.7 green score
• Wipro (India) is #2 globally, #1 in IT & Services, and has a 85.4 green score
• Bradesco (brazil) is #3 globally, #2 in Financials, and has a 83.7 green score
• IBM (U.S.) #4 globally, #2 in IT & Services, and has a 89.5 green score
The global ranking differs from other Newsweek ranking lists, and as explained on the Newsweek website, some companies may appear twice, once on each list, though not all do. Keeping this in mind, the top U.S. companies that made the Newsweek Green Rankings list of 2012 include:
• IBM is #1 on the U.S. list, #1 in IT & Services, and has a green score of 82.9.
• HP is #2 on the U.S. list, #1 in Tech Equipment, and has a green score of 78.5
• Sprint Nextel is #3 on the U.S. list, #1 in Telecommunications, and has a green score of 75.6
• Dell is #4 on the U.S. list, is #2 in Tech Equipment, and has a green score of 74.7
Overall, the methodology Newsweek uses when determining the ranking of each company is based on three factors. These include what each company does regarding an environmental footprint (i.e. what it looks like); how each company manages their footprint, and how transparent each company is with the public concerning its environmental issues and policies. The U.S. list shows that a number of IT companies have become more than leaders in the IT industry; they have also become leaders in being environmentally friendly and using green practices.
Follow in Their Footsteps
How can a company follow in the footsteps of the top 500 global and U.S. leaders in green practices?
As an example, some changes an Information Technology or gadget and tech company can make include:
• Changing the types of chemicals used to make plastic to reduce air and water pollutants
• Computerizing as much as possible to reduce paper consumption
• Reducing the amount of plastics used in products
• Making products with biodegradable materials
Keep in mind that while using environmentally friendly manufacturing plants to create green products helps the environment, there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that it also helps a company’s reputation. Because of this side effect, a number of companies utilize persuasive marketing to push their green initiatives and to try and change how consumers see their environment.
According to Brand.com, persuasive marketing is the act of explaining why consumers need to purchase a given product from a given company. Using your company’s “environmentally friendliness” factor as a selling point, showcase to consumers the changes your company has made and why it makes you stand out from the competition. The more a company can address its environmental issues, the more consumers see the company as making a difference in the environment.
For many consumers, simply knowing that a company changed its environmental practices to make greener products could be enough to change a consumer’s mind in terms of which product or service they will purchase, resulting in the consumer purchasing from that company.
Going green is not just an environmental decision, but it is also a way of life for individuals. On the other hand, a company going green is much more because consumers change everything. The good news is that while not every company has made the green list, a number of big name Fortune 500 companies have not only complied with the laws, but they have also gone above and beyond the regulations to become leaders of the green movement while watching their business missions, profits, and reputation soar. Your company can do the same by making some simple changes.
Sources: Brand.com, The Daily Beast, Earthtimes.org
Hey! My name is Seth Leitman (The Green Living Guy). I have Sustainability and Eco Consulting Services and Green Living Guy Productions! Plus, I host a radio show on Blog Talk Radio
I’ve authored and/or edited Nine Books with McGraw-Hill Professional on the Green Guru Guide series.
Photo by Description English: Biological and Technical Nutrients in the Cradle to Cradle Design Framework
Date: 21 August 2012, Source: Own work Author: Zhiying.lim