Business 100 Green Initiatives

Several of this year's Business 100 honorees work for companies making significant strides in environmental sustainability. Listed below are some of these businesses' green initiatives employed in the workplace and around the globe.

 

Accenture

Anthony Coughlan, Principal Accounting Officer and Controller

Accenture has a series of articles on its website having to do with the importance of sustainability and its integration into every factor of the company’s work. However, instead of just making their own practices as “green” as possible, Accenture has gone one step further by offering a “Green Technology Suite” which helps clients’ IT departments reduce their carbon footprints. This program is essentially a set of tools that helps companies assess their environmental and economic impact and find smart ways of reducing energy use. Since Accenture is a global consulting company serving a wide range of industries, from media and entertainment to aerospace and defense, their commitment to sustainability in every aspect of their work indubitably has a broad impact beyond their own company.

Alltech

Pearse Lyons, President and Founder

Alltech is founded upon the ACE principle: deliver performance for the Animal while being beneficial for the Consumer and natural and safe for the Environment. In keeping with this principle, Alltech has designed a pilot community biorefinery in Kentucky which has the ability to produce ten million gallons of biofuel from fibrous materials like switchgrass. This enables local farmers to create jobs for their communities and use local materials. The Alltech 2009 Symposium focused on sustainability in animal agriculture, with all three directors speaking on the topic.

American Express

John Hayes, EVP-Global Advertising and Brand Management/Chief Marketing Officer

Since 1983, American Express has been part of the Partners in Preservation program, which seeks to preserve historical and environmental landmarks, raise awareness about environmental conservation, and encourage the public to engage in “sustainable tourism.”

American Express teamed up with NBC Universal this year to celebrate small businesses with the Shine a Light program. Readers can vote on the stories of finalists and whoever wins receives marketing support and a $100,000 grant. Helping small businesses can have the positive side effect of supporting sustainability—small businesses often work on a local level, meaning they waste less energy in shipping materials, support other nearby businesses, and use up less floor space than large businesses do.

Anheuser-Busch

Patrick Burns, Director, TV Sports and Entertainment Marketing

 As of April 2009, more than 6 acres of photovoltaic solar arrays are powering about 3% of the brewery’s electricity needs in Fairfield. Anheuser-Busch also built a bio-energy recovery system that provides 15% of the plant’s fuel by turning nutrients in brewing wastewater into renewable biogas. Honored 15 times by the Waste Reduction Awards Program, Anheuser-Busch recycles more than 99% of the solid waste it generates.

The brewery is also a member of the U.S. EPA Climate Leaders Program and has committed to reduce total greenhouse gas emissions to 5 percent below 2005 levels by the year 2010 for all of its U.S. operations. The company has also committed to increasing the total use of renewable fuel from 8 percent to 15 percent in the same time period.

Anheuser-Busch is a founding member of the Wildlife Habitat Council, a nonprofit, non-lobbying organization dedicated to increasing the amount of wildlife habitat on corporate, private and public lands. For 20 years, WHC has built partnerships with corporations and conservation groups to create solutions that balance the demands of economic growth with the requirements of a healthy and sustainable environment. More than 2.4 million acres in the US and across the world are managed through WHC-assisted projects.

 Avon Products

Donagh Herlihy, SVP & CIO

Avon’s efficiency goals for 2004-2008 saw water consumption decrease by 24%, GHGs decrease by 31%, energy consumption decreased by 30%. They continue to promote energy efficiency at their manufacturing facility in Morton Grove, Illinois. According to their website, over the past four years water consumption decreased by 27% causing energy consumption overall to decrease by 11%.

 Bank of America

Brian Moynihan, President of Consumer & Small Business Banking

 As of March 2007, Bank of America has committed $20 billion over the next ten years, mostly focused on developing environmental economies, and environmentally related business opportunities. For instance, they have set aside $1.4 billion to achieve LEED status in all newly constructed buildings. The Bank of America Tower in NYC was awarded a Green Building Design award in 2008.

Bank of America has also reduced paper usage by 40% through online banking and waste reduction, and they were awarded the Natural Resources Defense Council Award in 2008.

Chicago 2016

Patrick Ryan, Chairman and CEO

The Blue-Green Games address environmental standards for new stadium spaces built-blue for air and water, green for parks and nature. It is based around five principles—to have low-carbon emissions through clean technologies, to reduce water use and provide clean water for people over the world, reuse or recycle 85% of material used, expand green spaces, and create a Sustainable Sport Institute as a legacy.

Although Chicago did not win the bid, the initiative will still have an impact, according to Director of Environment Bob Accarino: “…the bid effort has already had a positive environmental impact on the City of Chicago. A specific example includes working with the Fairmont Hotel—where the IOC’s Evaluation Commission members stayed during the April visit—to help the hotel achieve Green Seal certification. Another example is our 21st Century Green Centers program, which we launched in conjunction with The Climate Group in January, 2009.  Through the Climate Group, we have incorporated the input of 18 partners—both NGOs and members of the business community—to address environmental concerns around our proposed venue sites.  At least 27 projects will be completed by the end of 2009, from the installation of solar panels on school rooftops, to the creation of new native gardens in community areas.”

Coca-Cola Company

Irial Finan, Executive Vice President

Coca-Cola’s environmental initiatives include providing sustainable packaging by reducing the weight of glass bottles and reducing the use of PET, re-using materials in the production process, and promoting community recycling programs. They have recently taken on a rainwater harvesting project in India to re-use water and over the years they have installed more than 400 rainwater harvesting systems in India.

The company has published the carbon footprints of their most popular products on the Coca-Cola website, and continues to work to make sure all ingredients come from sustainable sources, specifically sugar through its Better Sugarcane Initiative. Coca-Cola has also reduced greenhouse gas emissions from its transport fleet.

Continental Airlines

Patricia Cunningham, Manager, Transatlantic Leisure Sales

In 2008, Continental Airlines implemented an environmental responsibility program called Eco-Skies that includes a system-wide paperless initiative, carbon-offsetting program, flight and ground procedures that reduce emissions and noise, and a fuel efficiency-focused fleet management program.

According to its website, “Continental conducted the first biofuel-powered demonstration flight of a U.S. commercial airliner on Jan. 7, 2009. The demonstration flight was powered by a special fuel blend including components derived from algae and jatropha plants.” Algae and jatropha are sustainable fuel sources that will not impact food crops or water resources and will not contribute to deforestation.

Disney Media Networks

Anne Sweeney, Co-Chairman

Disney has taken initiatives to improve its environmental impact as well as inspire children to think about environmental stewardship. Trains at Disneyland now run on biodiesel made from cooking oil from its own restaurants, and Disney has set the goals of zero waste and zero net direct GHG emissions from fuels over the next 5 years.

In addition, they have created Project Green and Planet Challenge, two programs that provide incentives for young people to get involved in environmentalism through competitions and school projects.

Domino Foods Inc.

Brian O’Malley, President and CEO,

According to Brian O’Malley, President and CEO, Domino is the only company to provide carbon neutral sugar products through a combination of eco-friendly farming and renewable energy. This sugar was recently launched as Domino CarbonFree Sugar and certified by Carbonfund.org.

eBay Marketplace

John Donahoe, President

The eBay Green Team encourages sustainable commerce, such as re-using materials, promoting green business practices, promoting environmental legislation, and volunteering. EBay has worked with USPS to create more environmentally-friendly packaging, with the overall goals of reducing GHG emissions by 15% by 2012 over 2008 emissions. In addition, PayPal’s headquarters has a solar installation that takes 18% of their energy used off the grid completely.

Ebay prides itself on promoting sustainability through commerce: sales of used laptop computers in 2007 reduced 69,000 tons of GHG, the equivalent of saving 467 acres of forest.

FedEx

Donald Colleran, Executive VP, Sales

FedEx has taken several environmental initiatives over the past several years and was ranked #1 in 2009 on the EPA’s Top 20 Printers List “of the largest green power purchasers in the commercial printing business,” according to its website. It is also part of the EPA’s Green Power Challenger, which encourages Fortune 500 businesses to invest in renewable resources.

 

In 2009, FedEx revealed plans to install the largest rooftop solar power system in the US at its distribution hub in Woodbridge, NJ. The system will be capable of producing “2.6 million kilowatt hours of electricity a year” and will provide about 30% of the hub’s energy. FedEx has also recently increased its Hybrid-Electric fleet of trucks by 50%, making it the largest fleet of hybrid-electric delivery trucks in the world.

FICO

Tom Bradley, CFO and Executive VP

FICO’s “Sustainable Enterprise Initiative is aimed at reducing our carbon footprint through the use of cloud computing, virtualization and other advanced technologies that enable us to conserve energy and natural resources.” Started in 2008, the initiative plans to reduce energy consumption of the IT infrastructure by 50% and paper use by 80% by 2010. In addition, FICO is a member of The Green Grid (www.thegreengrid.org), a “global consortium dedicated to developing and promoting energy efficiency for data centers.”

FICO has also released a “white paper” called Insights that highlights the success of their green initiatives and outlines the strategy behind them so that others can apply them to their businesses as well. FICO has reduced IT energy consumption by 33%, eliminating 29 cubic tons of carbon emissions. They’ve also reduced paper consumption by 50%, equaling 8 million sheets of paper. Both of those figures are expected to increase to hit 2010 goals. Impressively, they have also greatly consolidated their “technology footprint”—they were actually able to shrink floor space by investing in new technologies cutting back on energy consumption. In the case of retiring old hardware, they set up a global contract that ensures all hardware is recycled according to country-specific regulations and participate in Dell’s Plant a Tree program to offset the carbon emitted from powering new PCs.

 Ford Motor Company

William Clay Ford Jr, Executive Chairman

With a “lifelong environmentalist” at its helm, Ford Motor Company is re-branding itself as an environmentally responsible company. According to William Clay Ford Jr.’s website bio, as general manager he established the company’s first wildlife habitat at a plant location and made Ford the first company in the world to use 25% post-consumer materials in all of its plastic parts. In 2000, Ford published its first corporate citizenship report to promote transparency of its environmental impact.

 Now Ford is focused on developing its hybrid fleet—in 2004 it introduced the Ford Escape Hybrid, which can achieve up to 75% better fuel economy than the standard model in city driving and is the first hybrid-electric SUV.

General Electric

Pamela Daley, SVP Corporate Business Development

GE is developing battery technologies that allow hybrid and electric cars to go further, perform better and release fewer emissions. The company is also working on battery technology across the transportation infrastructure. These initiatives are all part of the GE Ecomagination project, which also aims to reduce water use and reduce GHG emissions in all GE operations.

Gilt Groupe

Kevin Ryan, CEO and Co-Founder

Gilt Groupe focuses on environmental sustainability through its packaging. All Gilt Groupe packages are made from 100% recycled paper and use less tissue and other forms of packaging in comparison to the industry standard. They also work to partner with and provide socially conscious brands.

Glaxo-Smith Kline

Deirdre Connelly, President, North American Pharmaceuticals

Glaxo-Smith Kline has the sustainability goal of reducing energy and climate change impact “per unit of sales” from 2006 levels by 45% by 2015. They also aim to eliminate CFCs in all of their products and equipment by 2010. To do this, GSK has begun to reduce the amount of material resources they use (and amount of waste produced) and redesign production processes.

To deal with the emission of CFCs, Glaxo-Smith Kline has been phasing out CFCs from their inhaler products and replacing them with HFAs, which have a lower impact on the environment. They have committed to a complete phase-out by the end of 2010 and are looking for alternatives to HFAs as well.

Glen Dimplex

Martin Naughton, Founder and Chairman

Glen Dimplex has recently expanded to include renewable energy systems such as solar, thermal, heat recovery and ventilation, smart controls, and wood pellet heating systems. Not only do these systems offer less CO2 emissions, they offer a local, inexhaustible resource for heating one’s home or business. Their heat pumps are accredited as part of the Low Carbon Buildings Programme [LCBP] and the Scottish Community & Householder Renewables Initiative.

Google

William Coughran, Jr., Senior VP, Engineering

Google has committed to being carbon neutral. They are increasing energy efficiency, getting energy from renewable sources through their Re<C and RechargeIT initiatives, and using carbon offsetting where necessary. Re<C works to develop clean energy that is cheaper than coal. RechargeIT works towards the mass commercialization of plug-in vehicles.

Right now, two Google centers run entirely on recycled water, and they want to make 80% of centers run this way by 2010. Google data centers use about half the energy of a typical data center and are therefore extremely efficient. Corporate culture is also very green—Google’s employee programs include providing free bikes on campus, biodiesel shuttles, composting, and locally-grown food.

For their users, Google provides its own Powermeter, which is a free electricity usage gauge that tells you how much electricity your home is using and gives tips on reducing energy usage to save money.

 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Co.

Michael Muldowney, EVP and CFO

This October, HMH introduced the first textbook series made of 100% recycled paper—the first of its kind to receive the “Green Edition” seal. The Environmental Defense Fund estimates that from use in Florida alone, the textbooks will have saved 40,000 trees and eight million gallons of water, reduced air emissions by 3.8 million pounds, and eliminated one million pounds of solid waste. The company went a step further in the case of this textbook series, manufacturing all student editions in domestic plants governed by US environmental law. This allowed them to minimize shipping resources and the carbon footprint.

As part of its Go Green initiative, in 2009 HMH purchased 40 million pounds of 100% recycled paper for use in workbooks, increased use of soy-based inks, replaced foam in packaging with environmentally-friendly recycled paper and plastic, and offered virtual sampling of products rather than paper sampling.

ING Americas

Thomas McInerney, Chairman and CEO

As a member of the Global Roundtable on Climate Change, ING has a climate-neutral program to reduce its carbon footprint. In 2007 they became 100% climate neutral, the first Dutch company to achieve this goal. They also develop products and services tied to climate risks and participate in larger discussions on what role corporations can play in affecting climate change, managing carbon emissions of clients.

ING also created the “ING Goes Green” program, which encourages employees to get involved with conservation efforts and be environmentally conscious, especially through community involvement.

Johnson & Johnson

Colleen Goggins, Worldwide Chairman, Consumer Group

Johnson & Johnson first began setting environmental goals in 1990. They have released their Healthy Planet 2010 goals on their website, as well as a yearly sustainability report. They aspire to be “the most environmentally responsible company in the world.” The 2010 goals include 100% transparency on environmental impact and sustainable practices, absolute reduction in CO2 from 1990-2010 of seven percent, reduction of water use by 10% from 2005 baseline, and reduction of wasteful paper and packaging practices.

They are partnered with and support the World Wildlife Fund, Harvard Medical School’s Center for Global Health and Environment, World Resources Institute, and EPA National Environmental Performance Track.

Kerry Ingredients and Flavors- Americas Region

Eoin O’Connell, Business President

Kerry Group outlines its environmental commitments on its corporate responsibility page, which include “waste prevention and minimization, requiring suppliers and contractors to implement sustainable environmental policies, conserving energy and raw materials, and taking account of the environment at all stages, including product development, manufacturing and distribution operations.”

KPMG

Shaun Kelly, Vice Chair-Tax

KPMG has created the Global Green Initiative, aimed at reducing carbon emissions 25% by 2010. In addition, KPMG in Japan plan to achieve the 6 percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions promised in the Kyoto Protocol. KPMG in Australia have become carbon neutral under Australia's Greenhouse Friendly™ accreditation from the Department of Climate Change. And in 2008, KPMG in Brazil asked every employee to set at least one goal in their appraisal process which focused on reducing their individual carbon footprint.

KPMG has also undertaken a number of environmental projects. According to their website, in India they have “commissioned rainwater harvesting systems in two residential areas and schools that will save up to 14 million liters of water a year. KPMG in the Cayman Islands supports the Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI) and the Ocean Literacy program. And KPMG in South Africa is helping to ensure the survival and sustainability of the elephant population by funding and supporting a program that has successfully relocated more than 850 elephants.”

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company

Joanne Maguire, EVP

Lockheed Martin has invested $40 million in energy efficiency programs that save 125 million kilowatt hours of energy annually and reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 96,000 metric tons. The company’s goal is to reduce carbon emissions, landfill waste, and water use by 25% each by 2012.

Eight Lockheed Martin buildings have received the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, and an additional 20 Lockheed Martin buildings have registered for various levels of the certification.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Frank McCourt, Owner and Chairman

Focused on invigorating the Dodgers' community efforts, the McCourt family describes their areas of focus as the "four bases of a diamond." The fourth base is the environment. As part of the Dodgers’ “Think Blue, Act Green” initiative, Dodgers stadium recently got a “green makeover.” Designers increased the number of trees by 90%, created walkable areas with parks, and focused on providing public transportation to lessen carbon emissions.

MetLife

Bill Mullaney, President, Institutional Business

All of the paper mills and paper distributors that MetLife uses are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified. Over 50% of the total power used by MetLife comes from non-carbon fuels and more than 10% of the utility power comes from renewable energy sources. MetLife has a goal to reduce emissions 20% by 2010. They are also seeking certification by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System for several of their offices in and around Manhattan.

The New England Council

Jim Brett, President and CEO

The New England Council is “New England’s voice on Capitol Hill”—it is an alliance of industries that promotes the economic growth and general welfare of New England. The New England council encourages research and development of renewable energy, which makes up 15% of the region’s energy sources. It is a stakeholder in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which promotes cap and trade among businesses in the New England region. The New England Council is also active in air quality legislation and organizations such as New England Coalition for Clean Air, Ozone Transport Commission, and Ozone Transport Assessment Group.

Overstock.com

Patrick Byrne, Chairman and CEO

Worldstock.com, sister site of Overstock.com, sells artisans’ goods as inexpensively as possible to maximize the amount of return to them. Byrne addresses several ethical issues here: child labor, oppression of women and general human rights violations, economic sustainability, cultural sustainability, and environmental sustainability. Byrne writes on the Overstock.com website, “Goods can contribute to environmental sustainability. For example, organizations such as the Worldwatch Institute and One World Products, Inc., aim to save the Brazilian rain forest by researching and selling renewable products from it rather than burning it for pasture. Moreover, some goods are surrogates for commercial goods, but are produced in non-industrial, eco-friendly ways.”

Pepperidge Farm

Patrick Callaghan, President

Pepperidge Farm falls under the larger umbrella of the Campbell Soup Company, which details on its website its commitment to sustainability “from farm to table.” One thing Pepperidge Farm has done in particular is to use an alternative energy source to power its Bloomfield, CT plant.

In 2007 Pepperidge Farm partnered with the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund and FuelCell Energy, Inc. to install a 1.2-megawatt natural gas powered fuel cell in its Bloomfield, Connecticut, baking plant. Scheduled to go online in the summer of 2008, the new cell will provide approximately 57 percent of the bakery's energy needs. When combined with a smaller, 250-kilowatt fuel cell installed in 2006, the two cells are expected to supply nearly 70 percent of the total electricity needs of the plant and save an estimated $700,000 annually in utility charges.

Channeling excess heat from the system into bakery processes and reducing the fuel needed for plant boilers will generate further energy savings. The fuel cells also reduce the plant's carbon footprint because emissions no longer include sulfur and nitrous oxide. In addition, the fuel cells operate silently, reducing the overall noise level at the plant.

Pfizer

MacDara Lynch, Vice President

Pfizer’s current goal is to reduce GHG emissions by 20% from 2008-2012. They also have a Green Chemistry initiative, which has reduced waste and the use of chemical solvents in the making of pharmaceuticals. Pfizer is a member of the Carbon Disclosure Project.

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

Kieran Claffey, Partner

PwC is global advisor and report writer of the Carbon Disclosure Project, which aims to provide investors with analysis of how the world’s largest companies are responding the climate change. PwC also contributes to sustainability projects and climate change research in Kazhakstan, New Zealand, Korea, and the Netherlands.

Tiffany & Co.

James Quinn, President

Tiffany sources gemstones and precious metals from mines that operate at the highest levels of environmental responsibility. They will not use new mines in places of ecological value, and they collaborate with Earthworks and Oxfam on developing responsible mining practices. In addition, Tiffany no longer uses or sells coral because to do so damages ecosystems. The company supports research focused on protecting reef ecosystems and is a member of the No Dirty Gold campaign and the Climate Leaders Program to reduce energy use and greenhouse gases.

United Technologies Corporation

Margaret Smyth, Vice President and Controller

UTC has been a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes every year since the indexes began in 1999. The indexes are the longest-running global sustainability benchmarks and follow a best-in-class approach to identify sustainability leaders from each industry on a global and regional level.

In April 2009, UTC co-chaired a study with Lafarge on reducing carbon emissions from buildings called “Transforming the Market: Energy Efficiency in Buildings.” at the Alliance to Save Energy’s EE Global Forum and Exposition in Paris.

Xerox

Anne Mulcahy, Chairman

Xerox partners with the Nature Conservancy in support of Sustainable Forest practices and holds paper suppliers to strict environmental standards. Recently, Xerox created the Green World Alliance Program, which helps businesses and individuals recycle used toner bottles and ink cartridges. They have also designed a multifunction, cartridge-less printer that reduces waste by 90%.

 

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