Today, I want to recognize companies that have made changes towards being sustainable. We often here from businesses that taking chances on sustainability is risky and expensive. Businesses fear a move to sustainability will cause them to lose customers. I say enough. Customers are no longer mindlessly buying goods and services. We are educated and we are aware. Brands that don’t make the shift to sustainability will be left behind. Sustainability will be similar to computer and internet technologies. Businesses that get comfortable with sustainability early on will be better suited to transition from the “take, make, waste” model our world currently operates within.
There are a number of different organizations that determine rankings for corporate sustainability. For example, a few by name are Barron’s, Calvert Research & Management and Corporate Knights. Frankly, I dont know who to believe or what the motivations are for these rankings. Because of this I am going to choose companies based on my own knowledge and interests.
- Interface: is a carpet company. In 1994 they established their Mission Zero® promise. This promise is that they would "eliminate any negative impact on the environment by 2020”. Now they have gone further and are pursuing the Climate Take Back initiative. For a complete description of their mission, go to their company website.
- Patagonia: Sustainability has been part of Patagonia’s mission since day one. I tried to avoid putting Patagonia on this list, as it seemed like an obvious choice, but they deserve continuous recognition. Even after years of success and probably countless opportunities to sell they have remained intact and continue to push for a more sustainable world. Check out their Environmental and Social Responsibility content. Not only are they sustainable, they are working to make other companies be sustainable as well.
- China: You are correct. This is not a company per se. But lets be honest our governments operate like big business and have just as much influence on sustainability. In the end, they might have all the influence. I chose China because they appear to be moving in the right direction. Some say they are seeking to take the lead in the worlds transition to clean energy. Seems like a smart move to me. Do some searching online about China’s wind farms and solar power initiatives.
I cant say entirely whether the organizations I have mentioned are making sustainable moves because they are being forced to or out of true desire for a sustainable world. Regardless, sustainability is here to stay.
Demand sustainability from the companies you do business with.