Environmentally Friendly Companies

Leaders in Environmental Responsibility

Building a healthier environment is something that environmentally friendly companies do on a daily basis. It is a purpose that most people would consider very important in today's society. As individuals we can take steps to improve the world and the environment we live in, but it is the large companies that can make some of the biggest impacts on the climate in which we live. Much of the information that follows is taken from a special advertising section of the January 8, 2007 - Forbes Capitalist Tool.

One major focus of environmentally friendly companies is lowering their greenhouse gas emissions. Public awareness of the greenhouse effect has grown and "going green" is a topic that has been brought to the forefront. Environmental topics have been fueled by information focusing on the future as well as changes that need to be made now to avoid global temperature increase.

One step companies have taken to get help identifying and reducing their greenhouse gas emissions is to join an EPA program known as Climate Leaders .

This initiative was launched in 2002 and it is an industry - government partnership that works with environmentally friendly companies to help them develop long-term greenhouse gas reduction strategies. More than 100 companies are currently participating in the program. This program involves taking inventory of the sources of greenhouse gases within their operations and taking steps to reduce or eliminate them.

Taken together, their emissions reduction goals will prevent a total of over 10 million metric tons of carbon equivalents per year from entering the atmosphere, which is an amount equal to the annual emissions of nearly 7 million cars.

Three Standout Companies

These environmentally friendly companies, the Climate Leaders, represent virtually every sector of the economy, from heavy manufacturing to banking, computer giants to major retailers. Three environmentally friendly companies in particular, Exelon, Sun Microsystems and Shaklee –provide useful case studies of the many ways in which Climate Leaders are working to meet the challenge of the century.

EXELON, one of the nation's largest electric and gas energy companies has established a voluntary commitment to reduce its carbon emission by 8% by the end of 2008, compared to the baseline year of 2001. Exelon has taken a stand to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy, beginning right at its corporate headquarters in Chicago's Chase Tower.

SUN MICROSYSTEMS has taken a close look at its day to day operations to see what could be changed. The company is composed largely of office workers. They are reinventing rules for the corporate work schedule through a program it calls Open Work. The program builds options for sun employees by allowing them to take advantage of satellite offices closer to their homes, which provides them with alternatives to lengthy commutes. The reduction in emissions resulting from shorter commutes will amount to 30,000 tons of carbon dioxide in 2006 alone.

The company also invites customers to return antiquated products, which it them remanufactures and recycles. Computers are increasingly harder to get rid of and by guaranteeing to take back anything it sells, the company has been able to create an efficient reclamation and disposal operation that can serve as a model for others.

SHAKLEE, a leader in environmentally friendly companies, not only is the premier provider of natural nutritional supplements but also has a 50 year track record of being an environmental pioneer. This earth friendly focus began when Dr. Shaklee started the company based on the philosophy of Living in Harmony with Nature. (TM)

Shaklee introduced one of the first biodegradable non-toxic cleaners in the U.S. in 1960. Not only was it super-concentrated but it also used significantly less packaging.

Shaklee has maintained its commitment to environmental stewardship. In the 70's it supported Jacques Cousteau's expeditions and sponsored the first expedition to the North Pole to measure global warming in the 80's. Then Shaklee planted 1 million trees in the Himalayas through Sir Edmund Hillary's foundation and Basic H (TM), the biodegradable, non-toxic cleaner was named an official Earth Day product.

In 2000, Shaklee U.S. became the first company in the world to be Climate Neutral certified and have a net zero impact on the environment.

Through Climate Leaders, Shaklee continues to lead on this issue by pledging to maintain net-zero carbon emissions from 2006-2009. Focusing on the climate represents good business sense, as well as good environmental sense. Shaklee feels this is more than a social program to make one feel good. It is the core of the Shaklee business, a key driver of their revenues and a major attraction for people to their company.

If the top 500 companies in the world followed Shaklee's lead and became carbon neutral, this would be the equivalent of eliminating half a billion cars from the road, and would have a dramatic impact on greenhouse gas emissions.

You can learn more about Shaklee and their philosophies and/or product lines by clicking here.

It takes making the right choices and doing the right thing - even if it requires a little more effort or money - in order for us to make the difference that is needed for the environment. It takes the same from these companies, there climate leaders.

Doing the right thing is not always the easiest or cheapest path to take. But large companies can huge differences in the enviroment we live in and I believe it is part of our going green effort to support those companies that make those good decisions.

To truly achieve a healthy life and a healthy planet we need more companies to follow their lead. We need to show our support for these companies by purchasing their products. Our country is driven by the law of supply and demand. It is up to us to drive the deamand for companies that produce good, needed products and do it in an environmentally responsible way.

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Michael Tomberlin


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