I am going to do a little challenge with myself. I want to list some companies that I believe are green. After that, I will research these companies to see what they do, if anything, to be green. It will be interesting to see if what I believe is actually true. I will not select companies in this exercise that I know make green products because that would be obvious.
Here is my list: Lexus (automakers), Sun Chips, Renold’s (aluminum foil), Shape (magazine), Starbucks, and DELL.
Ok, I must admit some of these companies were brands that I selected by glancing around the room, but that will make it fun to learn something new.
1. I heard something about Lexus going green but I don’t remember what it was. What I learned from their website is that they reuse scraps from cushions and liners as sound insulation. They reduce water and energy usage and have a zero landfill waste status. They reduce, reuse or recycle 98 percent of all manufacturing leftovers. They even plan reduce their energy consumption even more by 18% in 2011 when compared to 2001.
2. SunChips: what I understand about this company is that they are making their packaging compostable and that they run on wind energy. I was correct in the compostable wrappers guess. Also, 33% of every 10 1/2 oz bag of chips is made with renewable, plant based materials. In 2010, on Earth Day, they are set to release their first fully compostable bag, that will decompose in 14 weeks. They also helped rebuild Greensburg Kansas that was once destroyed by a tornado in a green way. Solar power is one main source of energy in the production of SunChips. That is a big step to a healthier planet.
3. Reynold’s: I seen a commercial advertising a recycled Reynold’s product. It looks like their foil is 100% recycled aluminum and even the paperboard is 100% recycled. After doing some more browsing on their site I found a Greening Your Kitchen tab including tips on going green from Sara Snow. My only suggestion is that they should make these links easier to find instead of having to dig around.
4. Shape: I am a subscriber to this magazine so I appreciate all of the green tips throughout. Instead of finding information online, I actually dug out my new copy and read their statement at the beginning. They state that they are the top user of recycled content for any North American women’s lifestyle magazine. They average 305,000 pounds of post consumer waste is used and that saves 17,723 trees.
5. Starbucks: I know that Starbucks sells fair trade coffee but I was wondering if they did more than that. Their website is actually pretty cool. They have videos and ways to interact with the site. They support the local community, they encourage the use of ceramic or reusable mugs, they use LED energy efficient lighting, recycled materials, and building materials and they also allow you to take home used coffee grounds for your soil.
6. Dell: Dell offers free computer recycling to worldwide customers; they recovered 100 million pounds in 2007 alone. You can also donate your computer to underprivileged children and adults. This is awesome; on their site they track how much CO2 they avoided, which is updated every other second. So far they are at 41,202,094 tons. During the year 2009 they completed 88 energy efficiency tasks from changing their light bulbs, temperature adjustments and upgrading their HVAC systems.
This is quite an interesting bit of information and I am glad I completed this exercise. Learning what companies are doing to go green will help us select which changes we want to make. Since this is part of Ben’s challenge, he will in the end select which company we will trade in our traditional purchases with a more green selection. Are you purchasing from companies specifically because they are green over their non-green competitor? Please leave us a comment below.