Lean and Green: 6 Healthy Habits of Environmentally Friendly Companies

It seems like everyone’s going green these days — and for good reason. They care about the future. People aren’t the only ones going green, though, as companies are doing it as well. These companies are setting a great example and helping make the world a cleaner, greener place. Here are a few healthy habits of environmentally friendly companies.

Bank of America: Reducing Paper Use

Regardless of how you feel about Bank of America, it’s undeniable that it’s making an effort to reduce its impact on the environment. From 2000 to 2005, it reduced paper use by 32 percent, even though its customer base grew by 24 percent. How?

E-statements. Many banking companies have adopted the process of using e-statements rather than sending out actual bills. Internally, they run a recycling program. They recycle about 30,000 tons of paper each year, which saves almost a quarter of a million trees. They also implement workforce management software in their call centers, which means rather than waste paper, they do everything through dedicated software.

Dupont: Getting an Adviser

It’s extremely possible that you want to go green, but you’re not sure how. Dupont, a company that has been wasteful in the past, was in such a situation. Instead of taking a few shots in the dark, it decided to appoint an ex-Greenpeace head as an adviser to the board. The company was able to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 63 percent in the 90s. The impact that one individual can have on an entire company is astounding.

McDonald’s: Partnering Up

Things are better when you have a partner, and going green is no exception. McDonald’s learned this several years ago. After a few scandals came out about competing retailers, McDonald’s wanted to reform the way it did business, so it decided to work closely with PETA. Together, they worked on ways that they could be both more humane and friendly to the environment.

Starbucks: Reusing Recycled Product

Regardless of the position you’re in, you can make use of recycled product. If you’re a consumer, support companies that use recycled products. If you’re a company, switch over to using recycled products. Starbucks realized this a while ago, and it since made the decision to start using recycled coffee cup sleeves. It’s saved 78,000 trees annually since 2006. It also made use of the previous habit and partnered up with Conservation International to the Earthwatch Institute.

Wal-Mart: Using Renewable Energy

Bet you didn’t think Wal-Mart would make this list, did you? Indeed, at one point, Wal-Mart was public enemy number one in terms of being environmentally conscious, but the times have changed. In October 2005, Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott made a bold promise.¬†Eventually, all stores would create zero waste, sell products that sustained their resources and environment, and –perhaps the most bold claim– all of its 10,000 plus stores would be powered by renewable energy. Since then, it’s made good on the promise by selling energy-efficient products by adopting mostly energy-efficient products.

Enterprise: Changing the Way You Travel

In the business world, traveling is inevitable. However, thanks to recent advances in the automotive and technology industries, you can travel while having a reduced impact on the environment. Since 2008, Enterprise has offered fuel-efficient vehicles. It claims that 440,000 of its vehicles offer 28MPG or better for highway travel, and 5,000 of those vehicles are hybrid vehicles.

If you have to travel, have your employees rent a fuel-efficient vehicle. If possible, though, you can opt to use technology instead. More companies are holding meetings via Skype. Skype even allows employees to attend meetings when they’re working from home.

More companies are going green, and thanks to them, the future will be a better place. You can adopt a few of these habits and start reducing your impact on the environment today. Do you know of any other companies that have gone green? Leave a comment and let us know!


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