Corporate Social Responsibility Big guns of eco-friendly industry

Published on February 22nd, 2013 | by Scott Cooney

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Titans of eco-friendly industry, 2013 edition

Big guns of eco-friendly industryThe environment has become an increasingly big concern for companies around the world. While many companies are begrudgingly forced to abide by local environmental regulations, the are other companies that are constantly looking for new and more efficient ways to be green. In addition to our recent America-centric article about corporate social responsibility in the Fortune 500, here are a few of the most eco-friendly companies in the world today:

Santander Brazil

A division of the Spanish banking group, this company received the highest score in Newsweek’s list of the greenest companies in the world for 2012. They received this ranking by having an environmental questionnaire filled out by all of their prospective clients. The results are then forwarded to a risk committee that is trained by the bank on environmental concerns. If the client is judged to not be eco-friendly enough, they are given advice on how to change their practices and move towards renewable energy. Their analysis includes the assessment of environmental, social and legal requirements in regards to working conditions, deforestation and soil contamination.

Bradesco

As one of the largest providers of financial and banking services in Brazil, Bradesco utilizes environmental criteria when deciding who to give loans to. They have also founded a non-profit organization that is responsible for saving 10 million hectares of Amazon rainforest and scored #3 on the Newsweek green companies list.

IBM

Generally considered to be the greenest company in the United States, IBM offers a large amount of climate solutions through its “Smarter Planet” program. This program encourages the use of greener buildings, water management systems and smart grids to achieve sustainable development and economic growth. They also have high emissions reduction goals that they are always attempting to meet. IBM doesn’t just encourage sustainability but are always working on products that combine innovation and the environment.

National Australia Bank

In 2007, the bank announced a goal to eventually become carbon neutral. It accomplished this goal in 2010 by tripling its investment in wind and gas-powered projects over the last five years, lowering its emissions by over 25% in the process. The public has responded positively to their efforts.Thinking about banks and the environment usually doesn’t apple but when you look at their investments you can see that NAB is doing it the right way, they have achieved the carbon neutral status, not just some green investments to look good, impressive.

As environmental concerns become a bigger part of the public’s consciousness every day, people are beginning to consider the environmental track record of the companies they choose to do business with. Therefore, if companies want to maintain a healthy bottom line, they will need to get on board with the green movement. Otherwise, they risk becoming an outcast in a landscape filled with companies striving to be Eco-friendly.

Eco-industry photo from Shutterstock





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About the Author

Scott Cooney (twitter: scottcooney) is an adjunct professor of Sustainability in the MBA program at the University of Hawai'i, green business startup coach, author of Build a Green Small Business: Profitable Ways to Become an Ecopreneur (McGraw-Hill), and developer of the sustainability board game GBO Hawai'i. Scott has started, grown and sold two mission-driven businesses, failed miserably at a third, and is currently in his fourth. Scott's current company has three divisions: a sustainability blog network that includes the world's biggest clean energy website and reached over 5 million readers in December 2013 alone; Pono Home, a turnkey and franchiseable green home consulting service that won entrance into the clean tech incubator known as Energy Excelerator; and Cost of Solar, a solar lead generation service to connect interested homeowners and solar contractors. In his spare time, Scott surfs, plays ultimate frisbee and enjoys a good, long bike ride. Find Scott on



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