Apr 12 5 min read
Eco-Friendly Companies and Environmental Friendliness
Eco-friendly brands are some of the most important companies in the market today. With the rise of environmental threats, these companies recognize some of the biggest threats facing our planet and know how to come up with unique ways of overcoming those issues. Eco-friendly companies do not just use recycled packaging or turn their thermostats down during the winter. They strive to change the world through their products by inspiring others to do their part to help the environment. The constant use of the planet’s resources means that our world has struggled to fight against issues like global warming and carbon emissions. We are currently forced to either find a better, more sustainable way of life or face extinction. However, there is good news, and we are making progress through sustainable companies.
There are several key players in the eco-friendly movement that have impacted the world as we know it. One of the leading companies that come to mind when talking about eco companies is Patagonia. Patagonia has been at the cutting edge of environmentally conscious business practices for over forty years. The company takes countless routes to be eco-friendly and has been a huge champion for environmental activism since the beginning. Patagonia proudly states they “are in business to save our home planet.” For the last 35 years, they have pledged 1% of sales to the conservation of the natural environment. This practice led to Patagonia’s Founder, Yvon Chouinard, co-founding the 501(c)(3) “1% for the Planet®” so other companies could make the same contribution to environmental protection.
Another company that is making an impact in the eco-friendly industry is Seventh Generation. Seventh Generation produces paper, personal care, and cleaning products; the company has focused on being eco-friendly since its founding in 1988. Seventh Generation’s mission is “to transform the world into a healthy, sustainable & equitable place for the next seven generations.” As of 2020, 100% of their products and packaging use biobased or post-consumer recycled material, and like Patagonia, Seventh Generation aims to become a zero-waste company by 2025. Seventh Generation strives to evoke change in the world through their products and inspire others to live a sustainable lifestyle.
Dr. Bronner is another eco-friendly company that is striving to change the world through sustainable practices. They sell organic soaps and personal care products that are all certified by some of the most environmentally and socially sustainable organizations. There are 6 “Cosmic Principles” that guide the whole company in how they do business and how they create their products, including “treat the earth like home” and “be fair to suppliers.” All of their plastic bottles are 100% post-consumer recycled, which conserves resources and reduces landfill waste.
Overall, eco-friendly companies help spread awareness about sustainability and other social practices that consumers should be aware of. It is necessary to learn from these companies and ensure that you are instilling some of their principles into your daily life.
Socially Conscious Businesses
Along with eco-friendly practices, many companies have adopted what is called Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). CSR allows businesses, large and small, to enact positive change. When companies choose to do what is right, they will benefit financially while also building trust with customers. Consumers feel that when they use products or services from socially responsible companies, they do their part in the world. The more socially responsible the company, the more supportive the community and consumers become. This practice helps build trust, raise awareness, and encourage social change.
You may be asking yourself, “what exactly does CSR entail?” Here are some of the main things that socially responsible companies practice in the workplace:
- Reducing carbon footprints
- Improving labor policies
- Participating in fair trade
- Charitable giving
- Volunteering in the community
- Corporate policies that benefit the environment
- Socially and environmentally conscious investments
Companies strive to be socially responsible, especially in today’s world, to attract customers. Smart companies know how to appeal to customers who will trust their brand, as evidenced by their purchase of products and services, and depend on the entire corporation. Many companies also benefit from using their voices to speak out against social injustice and policy changes that will negatively impact the environment. Some will even enforce policies to protect privacy in conjunction with their CSR commitment as more and more data breaches threaten personal information.
Our examples in this article are just a small illustration of how companies use corporate social responsibility to protect the planet and commit to improving the quality of life for the communities they impact every day. It’s key for brands of all sizes to pay attention to the issues that customers are interested in and the impacts a company can make at a community and global level.
Socially Responsible Businesses
Socially responsible businesses seek to change the way people think about the environment and hope to inspire everyone to do their part in taking care of the planet. For millennials and Generation Z, socially responsible businesses are even more important to these generations. They believe companies should invest in improving society and looking for solutions that will assist those improvements. Companies should share how they are trying to impact the world positively so that the public can see their pro-social initiatives. Showcasing efforts is vital to target millennials because commitment to CSR will sway millennials’ choices as consumers.
Several brands are currently striving to be the most socially responsible they can be. A few of these brands are Johnson & Johnson, Google, Coca-Cola, Ford, and Toms:
- Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc.: This company has focused on reducing its impact on the planet for three decades. Their initiatives range from leveraging wind power to providing safe water to communities worldwide. Johnson & Johnson seeks out renewable energy options to procure 35% of its energy needs from renewable sources.
- Google LLC: Google is known for its environmentally friendly initiatives and its outspoken CEO, Sundar Pichai. He stands up against social issues and is not afraid to go against the grain. Google also earned RI’s highest CSR score due to their data center using 50% less energy than others in the world. They have also committed over $1 billion to renewable energy projects and enable other businesses to reduce their environmental impact by offering Gmail and Google Drive services.
- The Coca-Cola Company: Coca-Cola’s massive fleet of delivery trucks contributed 3.7 million metric tons of greenhouse gases to the world. They have made significant changes to their supply chain practices, including investing in new alternatively fueled trucks. Their initiatives intend to create a 25% reduction in their carbon footprint.
- Ford Motor Company: Ford plans to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions using its EcoBoost engine to increase fuel efficiency. Ford also plans to introduce 40 electrified vehicles (electric and hybrid) by 2022, in an investment of $11 billion. According to Ford: “We’re all in on this, and we’re taking our mainstream vehicles, our most iconic vehicles, and we’re electrifying them. If we want to be successful with electrification, we have to do it with vehicles that are already popular.”
- TOMS: TOMS’s mission is to donate a pair of shoes for every pair they sell, resulting in the donation of over 60 million pairs of shoes to children in need. Profits assist by providing prescription glasses and medical treatments to the visually-impaired, providing safe drinking water to people with limited access to clean water, and building businesses in developing countries to create jobs. They are also strong anti-bullying advocates and work with several non-governmental organizations and nonprofits to set ethical behavior examples.
Social Responsibility Brands
Companies are increasingly ramping up their focus on social responsibility, whether it’s championing women’s rights, protecting the environment, or attempting to obliterate poverty on local, national, or global levels. Embracing socially responsible policies goes a long way towards attracting and retaining customers, which is essential to a company’s long-term success. Furthermore, many individuals will gladly pay a premium for goods, knowing that part of the profits will channel towards social causes near and dear to them.
Socially responsible companies tend to attract employees who seek to make a difference in the world—in addition to simply collecting a paycheck. There is strength in numbers with large companies, where collective employee efforts can achieve substantial results, increasing workplace morale and boosting productivity.
Being a socially responsible company can bolster a company’s image and build its brand. Social responsibility empowers employees to leverage the corporate resources at their disposal to do good. Formal corporate social responsibility programs can boost employee morale and lead to greater productivity in the workforce. Visit [SCORD] to learn the social responsibility scores of brands you know and love!