Monday, May 14, 2012

5 Companies that are 'Going Green' and Why You Should Encourage Them

Let’s face it; since the Obama administration invested 500 million of our tax dollars on failed solar power company Solyndra, the white house has been reluctant to discuss anything even faintly resembling the color green.

I won’t beat a dead horse by saying how important it is that we work to ease our dependence on our dwindling resources. I think we all realize the necessity of energy conservation. We may not all agree with the polarized politics surrounding the issue, but I’ll bet I’m not the only one who’s looking for ways to conserve when it comes to the rising cost of gasoline, electricity, and home heating oil. (PS - I never thought a Prius would look so good.)

The laws of supply and demand dictate that if there is less demand and more supply, then it is only natural that prices should fall. Now I’m not saying that we all need to run out and buy a hybrid, or you need to start reading by candle light. Speaking practically, regardless of what side of the issue you are on, it would behoove all of us to encourage every major corporation in the US to adopt a stricter policy of conservation, whenever possible.

Individual consumers are only a piece of the complex puzzle of consumption we have created here in America. I’m not giving a lecture, but the future we’ve all envisioned of $5 a gallon gasoline has arrived, ready or not. Have you noticed your grocery bill lately? Or your electric bill? Or your home heating bill? Costs everywhere are on the rise.

Here are 5 companies that we should encourage to continue their efforts:  

"Our goal at Dell is to deliver the highest quality and most efficient products to our customers with the least environmental impact," said Michael Dell, chairman and CEO, Dell Inc. "Last fiscal year, we diverted more than 150 million pounds of end-of-life electronics globally from landfills, and we are well on our way to meeting our goal of recycling 1 billion pounds by 2014. We encourage everyone in our industry to commit to easier, more responsible recycling as we all work to protect our planet."  

To be recognized by the EPA for responsible e-waste recycling is an honor for Sprint and a chance to build on our industry-first Electronics Stewardship Policy,” said Sprint CEO Dan Hesse. “Our current policy and today’s commitment with the EPA highlights our goal to handle electronic waste holistically – from product design to disposal – and is another proof point to our broader commitment to sustainability innovation.

At Sony, any product we make and put our name on, we will take back and recycle in the most responsible manner,” said Mark Small, Vice President for Corporate Environment, Safety and Health. “‘We Make It, We Take It Back’ has been Sony’s policy since 1995. This partnership – in coordination with the EPA and other stakeholders – will help us reach our “Road to Zero” goal, Sony’s vision of zero waste and zero environmental impact throughout the complete life cycle of all our products and related activities.”

Most people don’t expect much in the way of environmental awareness from their beer company, but that hasn’t stopped Anheuser-Busch from delivering. In his landmark text “Natural Capitalism”, author Paul Hawken shines light on the fact that Busch now saves 21 million pounds of metal per year by trimming an eighth of an inch off the diameter of its beer cans. The best news for beer enthusiasts? “The trimming doesn’t reduce the volume of beer one bit”, says Hawken.  

Campus Crest Communities
Campus Crest is a leading developer, builder, owner and manager of high-quality, purpose-built student housing. CEO Ted Rollins and its Grove Green team recently kicked off a national green initiative to plant ‘urban forests’ at its properties. Over the next year, they will add one plant for every resident. “With 33 properties and 6 underway, with more than 17,000 beds, that means we have a lot of planting to do; it’s part of promoting dynamic ecosystems to help the environment,” said Ted Rollins.