- Politics and Social Issues
What is a Green Company
Ever wonder what is a green company? When a company claims to be green it attempts to reduce it's impact on the environment. By examining the entire process used to manufacture, transport and sell goods and services green companies are searching for ways to minimize their impact on the environment.
Patagonia is an example of a pioneering green company. From its inception, founder Yvon Chouinard refused to manufacture textiles in a way that would release toxins into rivers. The company tries to reduce, recycle and reuse goods more and more every year. The company aims to produce quality outdoor clothing that last a long time, reducing waste. Patagonia manufactures items such as fleece jackets made from recycled pop bottles. They also encourage customers to return their used garments to be recycled into new items. The main office in California is powered by wind and solar power and a portion of the company's proceeds go to grassroots organizations and land conservation.
How do companies become more green
Businesses attempt to become more green when they examine their manufacturing processes and decide to phase out dangerous chemicals or and find ways to reduce the consumption of new goods, recycle goods and reuse items to give them a new life. Motorola manufactures a phone made partly of recycled water bottles and encourages its clients to send in the cell phone at the end of its life cycle so that it can be recycled. The Motorola W233 Renew is the first certified carbonfree cell phone. The company claims that the energy required to manufacture, distribute and operate the cell phone has been offset through the carbonfund.org alliance.
A zero waste company strives to produce products without throwing out anything. This means recycling, composting or reusing all potential waste.
Companies such as Herman Miller, strive for zero-waste in their offices and manufacturing facilities. The company, which produces office furniture, has set corporate sustainability targets for 2020. By this time they hope to use 100% renewable energy, achieve zero waste in the landfill, eliminate the production of hazardous waste, and achieve a carbon neutral operational footprint.
A company can also be considered green if it produces items that reduce energy and fuel consumption and are recycles production waste. Honda and Toyota were pioneers in delivering hybrid vehicles to the mass market in North America. Many companies have followed suit. The Honda plant in Alliston, Ont. recycles 99% of its production waste.
Reducing Waste and Recycling
Restaurant chains are also feeling the pressure from consumers to become more green. Starbucks provides recycling facilities at some locations for some of their food containers, unfortunately most take-out containers are taken away off site and never sent to recycling centres. The company discounts its coffee to people who use reusable mugs. In 2015 the company hopes to serve 25% of its beverages in reusable cups, leaving the onus of recycling on the consumer.