Green Consumerism

Published on August 31st, 2011 | by Guest Contributor

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Who’s Going Green?

Solar Array

It seems everyone is undertaking green initiatives these days. Many corporations are now analyzing their operations and moving forward with a more sustainable approach.  As a consumer, it is easier to feel good about a purchase decision (or an investment decision) if you know which companies are taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint.

To keep you up to date, here are just a few highlights from recent news:

Green Practices by Popular Companies

Most people associate Whole Foods with a green focus, but they have recently taken that one step further.  Now, all biodegradable waste (ex: spoiled produce)  is being picked up by their delivery trucks and taken to composting facilities.  They then either sell the compost in the store, or donate it to community gardens.  Whole Foods estimates they are reducing their landfill waste by up to 75%.

The Gap pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions 20% from 2003-2008 and successfully met their goal.  They are now endeavoring to cut another 20% by 2015.  Additionally, they are taking on projects that focus on a mesh between environmental concerns and social responsibility.  For example, they are in the process of developing a water conservation strategy and hope to implement changes specifically in water-stressed regions.

The toy giant, Toys R Us is also doing their part.  In August they completed the largest operational solar rooftop installation in North America.  The 5.38 megawatt system in New Jersey covers 70% of the distribution center’s roof and will offset approximately 72% of that facility’s electricity needs.

In 2008, Dunkin’ Donuts opened its first green location in Florida achieving LEED-Silver certification and they plan to open another location soon.  They are also the first to offer a line of 100% Fair Trade Certified espresso drinks.  In their corporate responsibility report, Dunkin’ Brands does admit that their packaging needs some work and they pledge to work toward alternatives such as recycling programs and reusable mug.

Have you heard of other recent corporate green initiatives?

Sources: Sustainable Business News, Whole Foods Market, Gap, Toys R Us, Dunkin’ Brands

[CC Image by theregeneration via Flickr]





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