This guest post is by Robert Dean of TheShreddingAlliance.co.uk.
As concern about climate change and the consumption of fossil fuels continues to grow, many companies are responding with practices to reduce energy consumption and pollution. There are five that stand out as leaders in this fashion; these companies are models of forward thinking and innovation that both increase profitability and preserve the environment.
1. The Munich Reinsurance Group
The Munich Reinsurance Group has been a world leader in addressing climate change for many years. For example, they provide products that protect against the effects of climate change such as crop insurance to for farmers and they recycle up to as much as 75% of its paper. Munich RE is also looking to cover solar cells and wind farms with their products. They have led the way in research on climate change for the past forty years and Munich RE has set a goal that their entire business operations will be carbon neutral by 2015. This will definitely add to their impressive history of being an eco-friendly business.
IBM also has a strong track record when it comes to making their operations greener. Recognizing that IT infrastructure can be a huge energy consumer, IBM has developed more efficient hardware systems and software which together can reduce energy consumption. This both improves the bottom line by reducing energy costs and preserves the environment. Their most impressive statistic is that of their cut in electricity consumption of 5.1 billion kilowatt hours between 1990 and 2000, which is enough to power a whole town.
IKEA is another innovator in eco-friendly business practices. As a furniture manufacturer, timber and cotton textiles are important raw materials for their products. IKEA has strict standards for the sources of timber and cotton, and they will only purchase from suppliers that harvest these resources in a sustainable way. In addition, IKEA has led the way in reducing carbon emissions in its stores including being the first major retailer to switch off incandescent lights.
British Telecom has made huge strides in sustainability by requiring its suppliers to meet high environmental standards. This is part of their plan to cut their carbon emissions by a massive 80% by 2020. Basically, BT has told its suppliers that they must adopt these high standards or BT will look elsewhere for its supplies. By adapting this purchasing policy, BT has influenced many companies all over the world to become more sustainable. BT is also working on reducing its own carbon footprint as well.
5. Hewlett Packard
Hewlett Packard is also a leader in sustainable business practices. They have reduced the energy consumption of their products, became the first hi-tech company to account for greenhouse gas emissions in their supply chain and reduced their own carbon footprint. They are also constantly looking to recycle and switch their own products for more energy efficient models.
These five eco-friendly companies demonstrate that sustainable business practices can be implemented that both improve profitability and help the environment. As climate change continues to be a serious issue, demand will grow for energy efficient products, and businesses that can operate efficiently and sustainably will be rewarded.
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