Today’s consumers are increasingly concerned about the environment. The scientific consensus is that climate change is real and unless governments and businesses take appropriate action humanity faces dire consequences. It’s also becoming more and more clear that the Earth’s resources are finite and need to be managed properly.
While there are many organizations that focus on protecting the environment, it’s also important that more businesses focus on environmentally-friendly practices. Fortunately, a number of companies do care about sustainability and attempt to be as green as possible. Below is a list of three companies that should be commended for their attempts to become more sustainable.
IKEA sells more furniture than any other company on the planet. Fortunately, the company understands how important sustainability is to their continued success. On the People & Planet section of their website, the company states that it is “working towards 100% renewable energy – producing as much as we consume in our operations – and sourcing all of our wood from more sustainable sources by 2020” (People & Planet). Additionally, the company sources all of its cotton from suppliers that follow Better Cotton standards, and many of its stores utilize solar panels.
Unilever is a consumer goods company that sells its products all over the globe. In 2010 the company adopted a Sustainable Living Plan. Unilever says that the Sustainable Living Plan is “our blueprint for achieving our vision to grow our business, whilst decoupling our environmental footprint from our growth and increasing our positive social impact” (Sustainable Living). The company’s site has an entire section titled “Reducing Environmental Impact” that lists various benchmarks the company plans to reach by 2020. Since first adopting the plan the company has seen success with reducing waste. In fact, CEO Paul Polman was awarded the 2015 Champion of the Earth Award by the United Nations.
Patagonia is a popular clothing retailer headquartered in California. The company is very concerned about the environment and consumer’s habits. In the past, it has released ads that actually urge people to refrain from buying things they don’t need, and this includes Patagonia products. Patagonia also instituted a repair program so that customers can get extended use out of their products instead of buying additional items. The company is B Corp certified which means that an outside organization (B Lab) assess its performance to ensure it meets a certain level of environmental performance.
The above companies are just three of the numerous organizations that have taken steps to make their businesses more sustainable. These three organizations have made it clear that sustainability and profit are not mutually exclusive.