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International & Domestic Examples of Going Green

Fri, Aug 6, 2010

Global Best Practices

Internationally and within the U.S. , the global trend of conserving energy, utilizing resources wisely, and decreasing carbon footprints is beginning to perceive future success. As smaller businesses begin to model larger companies that pursue sustainable initiatives, competition for strategy, incentives to reduce climate change and increase revenue have seen promising outcomes. By starting environmentally friendly practices early on companies will maximize profits, hire more willing employees, and benefit the globe.

Competition for Strategy

When companies decide to go green, they best think large-scale changes. With the bigger, influential companies already instituting green policies, smaller companies are swiftly jumping on board. Companies must forge ahead to accommodate bigger and better developments, improvements that concurrently benefit the companies themselves. International companies such as Wal-Mart are implementing solar panels and New York’s Hearst, Bank of America, and Goldman Sachs’ towers are built on green principles, making them competitive forces. Sun Light & Power, a small but blossoming company in California uses solar power and secondhand office furniture. Sales are expected to hit $12 million at the end of this year. Another hidden incentive, employees such as those at Adecco USA are more inclined to work for a green company. In order for small companies to achieve the industries’ level of success, they must strategize the next innovation in green technology. It goes something like this – the least ink wasted, the most creative ideas, the smallest carbon-footprint. Thus, small- and medium- sized companies must advocate new green strategies that will enable them to compete with the larger companies, as well as allow them to sustain and flourish.

Incentives and Ways to Save

Not only does going green save the environment, it saves companies millions of dollars in products, time and labor. All of the waste generated from paper, chemicals, and even electricity generates unnecessary costs to the company. Consequently, a variety of charities have spun-off into small businesses, successful merely because of their green principles. Charities collaborate with budding companies, such as Seventh Generation, a natural cleaning products supplier, producing more jobs while greening the planet. Saving energy saves companies money that could be utilized for significant purposes, which attracts more employees and creates more opportunities. Success means that companies internationally will follow suit.

Ways for small businesses to save include:

  • Switching company-owned vehicles to hybrid
  • Recycling and using less paper
  • Building Green
  • Recycling Old Computers
  • Allowing employees to telecommute from home

International Influence

CHINA, one of the the most powerful nations, has successfully developed during the past decade by understanding the next step to further success is restricting pollution and enforcing environmental laws. Increased concern in China and its companies leads to greater foreign influence for sophisticated services. The country is in the process of “toughening water and air pollution laws, and the need to have cleaner air in office buildings, the just enacted laws mandating much stiffer energy efficiency in the building codes, and the increased penalties against government officials who keep pollution matters quiet.” These are beneficial, fundamental changes. The government is serious about this, realizing their vast population must be satisfied and that cleanliness and health is one of the basics a country must promise its citizens. One particular company, Suntech Power (STP), based in a populous area in China, is manufacturing solar cells and taking the title as the “first Chinese solar power company to go public on the New York Stock Exchange.”

More recent articles agree wholeheartedly, claiming China is taking a radical approach to energy efficiency, eradicating emissions and old coal and oil- fired power plants. China’s size makes these actions crucial to its companies as well as the planet. Active response will also reshape world politics and increase China’s appeal.

Simultaneously, the United Kingdom is transforming its policies and its companies are also taking active approaches to environmental safety. England is quickly becoming stronger, more efficient and powerful than the US. With companies such as Tesco, named by BusinessPundit as #21 on the 25 Big Companies That Are Going Green list, this growing supermarket chain is quickly turning each store into a “wind-powered, high-recycling, biodiesel truck delivered epicenters of environmental sustainability.”

Back in 2003, a company called Goingreen enforced its employees to drive rental electric G-Wiz cars, which are family and environment friendly. Today, the UK is implementing the CRC or Carbon Reduction Commitment, which is supposed to reduce carbon emissions 34% by 2020. Reasons for law enforcement include: political pressures, technological pressures (the onset of new equipment geared toward companies), as well as economic pressures, since going green is cheaper and also provides a competitive edge.

International and domestic US companies are taking several initiatives to forge a green path in order to contribute to an improved global environment and global economy.

By Tiffany Teng. Tiffany can he reached at teng3@tcnj.edu.

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