Corporate responsibility for environmental concerns

No matter how large or small a company, there is today an overall sense of responsibility and duty to ensure that all operations are carried out to high standards. Statutory regulations play a large part in this, but even more important is the overall impact that a social conscience has on a company’s brand reputation, and the damage that can be done to overall performance is a company is deemed to be negligent of its role in protecting the environment.

So important is it today that many companies have made environmental concerns their ‘rasion d’etre’, rather than running a business and making money! Being environmentally friendly is not just about hazardous waste disposal according to regulations, but weaving social causes through every aspect of a business. The following examples are the best we’ve tracked down to date.

Patagonia – distancing itself from the ‘crap’

Patagonia is an activity clothing manufacturer that is dedicated to reducing the amount of wastage that is being generated in what is a mass consuming society. On its home page, the company’s opening statement is: “If we don’t make the highest quality products, we’ll just be making more crap no one needs.”

A scroll through its website will soon demonstrate that strong environmental advocacy and sustainability is more important to it than selling its products, but if it has to sell products, it is going to make sure they are the best and longest lasting on the market, so that they don’t add to the overwhelming pile of tat that is already overflowing landfill sites.

And the company puts its money where its mouth is, by pledging a percentage of its profits to environmental causes every year.

Nothing screams a friend of nature more than the love of bees

Bees have long been under attack from chemicals and pesticides, which is why it is so heart warming to come across Burt and his beautiful buzzing bees. A visit to the company’s website is not only a delight for anyone interested and entertained by really clever marketing and copy writing, but is also a lesson in returning as much as possible back to nature.

From job creation in Ghana, to collaborating with national conservation charities in the protection of green spaces, to only sourcing from natural resources and eliminating any damaging manmade additives and chemicals. Believe me when I say that anyone browsing Burt’s Bees websites will come away wanting to be a little more Burt.

Prepare to be floored…

… is a line taken from flooring company’s website Interface. It is safe to say that making carpets carbon neutral is literally woven into every fabric of the company’s story. With a range of Carbon Negative products, it is clear that the company’s priority is ‘weaving sustainability into everything we create’. (And yes, that is another phrase lifted from the website.

Bringing sustainability to the masses

IKEA may have always been synonymous with providing modern, affordable furniture to practically every home in the western world (or so it seems), the company has openly taken its impact on the environment seriously.

As it says on its website, the company brings ‘durable, affordable and sustainable home furnishing solutions to people with big dreams and thin wallets’, and therein lies the company’s success – sustainability does not have to cost the earth to cost the earth. Finding its way into the homes of millions of people on the planet has demonstrated to the company that it has a privileged position to promote the cause for sustainability, and it does so without wanting to compromise on the quality of its products. Just because there’s less in the pocket, does not mean that quality should be diminished.

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