When it comes to being green, we all have a part to play. Families are encouraged to recycle where they can and avoid any single-use plastics, but ultimately the biggest changes depend on the actions of big businesses.
On an individual level, consumers can’t control how their products are packaged in the shops. They don’t decide who delivers their orders or what goes on behind office doors. Real change needs to happen higher up.
No business, big or small, is exempt from responsibility. Businesses of every size must try to be more eco-friendly. Fortunately, many companies are already making their changes. Here are some global brands that have made an effort to go green:
It wouldn’t be right to start this list with anyone other than Google.
Despite being one of the biggest brands in the world, Google has put a huge amount of effort into behaving more sustainably. In Google’s own words, ‘the path to a cleaner, healthier future begins with the small decisions we make each day.’
Google aims to be entirely carbon-free by the end of the decade. This brand has already been carbon neutral since 2007.
Where possible, renewable energies are used in Google’s own offices. Google also invests in research and development, helping to fund more sustainable energy and water. Waste is diverted away from landfills, whenever that’s an option for Google. They’re also replacing their fleet of vehicles with electric cars for zero emissions.
Of course, a business as big as Google has a big impact on the planet. A company of Google’s size needs to act responsibly since small changes for Google are big changes for the planet as a whole.
Swedish furniture brand IKEA, like Google, has another great quote that reflects a green business perspective. In their words, ‘No method is more effective than a good example.’
Many of IKEA’s products help towards an eco-friendly lifestyle, but with this brand, it all starts in their own stores and offices. By 2030, IKEA aims to only use plastics that are recycled or renewable. All single-use plastics have already been removed from their range.
IKEA claims that more than 60% of their product range already uses renewable materials, with 73% of store waste being recycled.
The world’s largest supermarket chain, Walmart operates in 27 countries with more than 11,000 stores. Though the Walmart name is used in the US and elsewhere, the UK’s Walmart stores are Asda branded (after Walmart purchased Asda in 1999). Some other countries also have Walmart stores under different names.
Walmart has committed to being a zero-emissions retailer by 2040. Walmart has also set a goal to ‘restore 50 million acres of land and one million square miles of ocean by 2030’.
Important steps Walmart will take towards its goal include ensuring that its vehicles are all-electric by 2040, including the large trucks for long-distance trips, and using 100% renewable energy by 2035.
What about smaller businesses?
Though the big brands are making some huge commitments, every business has a part to play. Smaller businesses may not be able to invest so easily in saving the rainforests, eradicating single-use plastics, or purchasing their own fleet of electric vehicles, but there are many changes that even smaller companies can make.
Take small and steady steps. Look for couriers that have electric vehicles, instead of using those with petrol vans. Set up a few recycling bins and think about waste disposal. Reuse where you can. Switch lights off when nobody’s in the office.
Big businesses make a big impact when they choose to go green, but small businesses can also do their bit to change the world.