Top 3 Green Companies

The act of going green is defined as the process of changing one’s lifestyle for the safety and benefit of the environment. People who decide to go green and take on an eco-friendly lifestyle consider the outcomes their decisions have on global warming, pollution, and other environmental concerns. Sounds simple right? Well if you are a business it may be harder than you think. Those who do decide to make their business practices green have the potential to make a big impact in helping save the environment. They also set a positive attitude for their company, differentiate themselves from competitors, improve efficiency, and reduce costs. Going green is an big process to tackle, but the end results are great.

One problem that arises when businesses decide to go green is green washing. Green washing is the practice of companies making unsubstantiated or misleading claims of the environmental benefits of a product or service. Those who rise above this maintain a good company name and brand, while also promoting eco-friendliness.

Here are the top 3 green companies that have made commitments to become sustainable companies:


1. Dell: Dell has made a commitment to transform their packaging by making it safe for the environment. They started by trying out different materials for their packaging. Dell worked with bamboo because it replenishes itself quickly. They also just recently turned to mushrooms as part of their cushioning for their server packaging. Mushrooms are grown, not manufactured, using less energy to produce the packaging. Dell has made many goals in becoming a sustainable company. They plan on reducing waste and making their packaging recyclable. They are constantly looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint.

2. Wal-Mart: The CEO of Wal-Mart decided a few years ago to make a commitment to becoming more sustainable. They decided to make goals of running their stores on 100% renewable energy, implementing a zero waste system, and redesigning products so they are more eco-friendly. Wal-Mart has been successful in meeting their goals and becoming a more sustainable company. They have drastically reduced its waste, cut down on packaging for the goods they sell, improved fuel efficiency, and monitored their suppliers carbon footprint. Wal-Mart has saved millions of dollars by going green, which has helped their business as well as the environment.

3. Waste Management: When you think of this company, eco-friendly probably is the first words that come to mind. But they are taking initiative to change that. Waste Management is no longer just a garbage company, but an environmental answer resource. They are taking charge and finding advances in technology to reduce waste, increase recycling and reuse, creating safer disposal options, and developing sources of renewable energy. They have also found a way to capture methane from landfills, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions and has generated enough renewable energy to power 1 million homes. They are more than just a garbage company to 20 million customers and are continuing to find ways to protect the environment.

 

If these 3 companies can take the imitative to go green, so can others. These companies have done a great job at setting examples for other companies to hopefully follow.

Mold Turns Eco-Friendly

Dell has become a company that is dedicated to finding green alternatives for their packaging. They have announced that they will be using mushrooms as part of their cushioning for their server packaging. The brilliance behind using mushrooms is they are grown, not manufactured. This allows less energy to be used to produce the packaging. Mushrooms are also more dense, meaning they can support the weight of Dell’s servers and they can be grown quickly. The end result is an eco-friendly alternative for packaging that consumers can compost. Dell has already experimented with bamboo packaging in 2009 and will combine it with the new mushroom based packaging.

The process of conducting such a sustainable creation for packaging is very interesting. It is a fairly short process, lasting between 5 and 10 days. It starts out using agricultural waste products, mainly cotton. The cotton hulls are placed in mold and then implanted with mushroom spawn. It then develops into a root structure of a mushroom. They have tested and retested this new development in sustainable packaging and will pilot run it with its PowerEdge 710 server. If this test is proven to be a success, they will expand the mushroom packaging to their other servers.

Dell has many goals in becoming a more sustainable company. They plan to eliminate 20 million pounds of packaging material by 2012 and make sure packaging is recyclable. They have made an extraordinary accomplishment by finding a green alternative for their packaging. Dell also keeps working hard everyday, looking for other ways to reduce their carbon footprint and be a more environmentally friendly company.

Moving Ahead With Greener Packaging

Companies are jumping on the green packaging bandwagon and are focusing on eco-friendly options. Green packaging is a win-win situation for these companies because it’s environmentally friendly and it provides cost savings by tossing out wasteful and outdated materials and techniques. Going green is about trying new things to help save the environment and that is exactly what companies are doing. They are experimenting and finding ways to reduce waste and harm on the environment by producing more sustainable packaging.

Walmart has been a leader in searching for greener packaging alternatives. Last year they pledged to eliminate all waste at its stores in 2025 by reducing, reusing, or recycling all materials.

Dell has been taking efforts to provide more eco-friendly packaging by trying out packaging materials made from bamboo. Bamboo replenishes itself quickly, making it a great resource for packaging.

Amazon has been thinking of ways to rethink traditional packaging. Colorful packaging was originally used for display boxes, with the intention to maximize the visual appeal, which is not necessary for online shopping. So Amazon started offering “frustration free packaging”, a program aimed at reducing shipping waste and difficult to open packaging. They work directly with manufacturers to ship products in hassle free boxes.

Other companies such as FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service offer shipping boxes made from recycled materials.

Companies are becoming more environmentally friendly when it comes to packaging and have taken different approaches to doing so. The world is full with ways to reduce waste and produce greener packaging.

Dell’s Three C’s of Sustainable Packaging

Dell’s focus on sustainability has established the electronics giant as a leader in the green movement. Back in December of 2008, Dell announced a plan to transform computer packaging by adding recycled content (32%). By 2012, Dell hopes to achieve its goal of increasing the recycled content in its packaging by 40%. To do this, the company is implementing a strategy based on three C’s: Cube, Content, and Curbside.

Cube
Reducing the size of product packaging so it is more efficient, from the size of the boxes that hold product components to the number of items that can be moved per shipping pallet. In one example, Dell optimized the packaging for its Inspiron laptop so that the number of computers per pallet increased from 54 to 63.

Content
As previously stated, Dell is ramping up the amount of recycled contents that go into their packaging. For heavier products that require sturdier support, the company has increased the use of recycled foam versus using virgin product. Dell has also increased the use of post-consumer recycled plastics, integrating the equivalent of more than 9.5 million half-gallon milk jugs into its packaging.

Also, Dell has been using bamboo as a strong and compostable alternative to the molded paper pulp, foams, and corrugated cardboard often used in packaging.

Curbside
Ensuring that their packaging is curbside recyclable is that last piece of Dell’s green packaging strategy. Dell increasingly chooses materials that can be tossed in the recycling bin such as post-consumer plastics and molded paper pulp.

Bamboo is still not accepted by many municipal recyclers for curbside pickup however, Dell is working with Georgia Pacific, Unisource Global Services, and Environmental Packaging International in an effort to certify its bamboo packaging for recycling.

Dell outlines the three C’s strategy in their 2010 Corporate Responsibility Summary Report (PDF)