Green Business Bureau Blog


Big Businesses Embrace Green Policies


Businesses are obligated to pursue a strong bottom line.  In today’s highly competitive business environment, there is very little room for discretionary spending, so every dollar spent on green initiatives should impact the bottom line in a positive way.

What small, medium and big businesses are discovering is that a shift to green policies actually helps the bottom line.  For many years, the perception was that green initiatives cost too much and hurt the bottom line.  As businesses gauged the social, environmental and economic benefits of a move to sustainability, they discovered something remarkable; a shift to green yielded respectable short and long-term return on investment.

Yes, a move to green was actually boosting the bottom line.  Productivity improved as sick days decreased and morale was boosted by healthier work places.  Going green was working and businesses took note.  An additional benefit was that consumers wanted to do business with companies that supported a healthy environment and these same consumers were shying away from companies that were not doing their part to protect the environment.

The green message that was being delivered by small and mid-size businesses was soon embraced by big business.  Here are just a few of the compelling larger businesses that have launched sustainable policies.

  • Honda – With $84.2 billion in income and 145,000 employees, Honda welcomed the opportunity to address fuel efficiency and emissions.  The company focused on two alternative fuel technologies and creating an infrastructure for hydrogen.
  • Suncor – This Canadian based company boats $13.6 billion in annual income and specializes in oil production.  Suncor has launched an aggressive greenhouse-gas management program that has moved the company into the top sustainable ranking for oil companies.
  • PG&E – California’s Pacific Gas and Electric was an active contributor to the creation of the greenhouse gas controls passed in California last year.  56% of the company’s retail electricity is derived from non-greenhouse gas emitting sources.
  • Goldman Sachs – The powerful investment house has put billions into the development of alternative energy, including investments in cellulosic ethanol, wind and solar power.
  • Swiss Re – The Swiss re-insurance company is a big advocate of climate change improvements.  As an insurer of insurance companies, Swiss Re has helped to develop weather-based derivatives.
  • Hewlett-Packard – With $91.7 billion in annual income and with 156,000 employees, the company owns large e-waste recycling plants designed to reclaim toxic chemicals like mercury and even precious metals.  HP has committed to reduce greenhouse emissions by 20% by 2010 and all HP products are recyclable.

What these dynamic companies have done is analyze the products and services they provide and made changes to assure they are not detrimental to the environment.  Many of these companies are converting to LEED certified buildings and are making workplaces sustainable.  These corporate giants are willing to change.  Shouldn’t your company seek certification and a path to green practices?


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