The race to become a green company

It is no longer enough for companies just ‘to love the environment’. Becoming a ‘green company’ now involves more thorough strategies and more detailed policies. Consumers reward those who apply su...

1.06.2007 03:00:000
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It is no longer enough for companies just ‘to love the environment’. Becoming a ‘green company’ now involves more thorough strategies and more detailed policies. Consumers reward those who apply such policies and the number of companies which are doing so is increasing. Giant companies such as Alcoa, The Dow Chemical, Dupont, Fedex, GM, IBM and Johnson and Johnson are using clean energy to produce the products that people use every day. Moreover, they are very sensitive when it comes to waste and produce products which are ‘environmentally friendly’.

The film “An Inconvenient Truth’ tackles the problem of global warming from every perspective and makes everyone who watches it feel in their bones that they are responsible for leaving future generations “a livable world”. The film argues that everyone should take action in order to protect our world against dangers such as global warming, major floods and tornadoes and environmental pollution. It calls on politicians, companies and individuals to behave responsibly in this regard. What makes this film interesting is that the scientific research and facts are explained Al Gore, the former US Vice President, who has devoted himself to this issue. Al Gore was the Democratic Party’s candidate in the 2000 elections and narrowly lost the US presidency to George Bush. Later he devoted himself to ensuring that the problem of global warming and initiatives to save the world from disaster remained on the agenda. In the last few years the tornadoes and floods that have occurred in the US have produced hostile public reactions against the Bush administration, which has not signed the Kyoto Protocol.

The US administration is still refusing to sign the Kyoto Protocol, which would limit emissions of greenhouse gases… But American companies have noticed that environmentally friendly products sell better. For this reason they are developing strategies not just against ‘global warming’ but on topics such as ‘air and water pollution’ and ‘waste management’ and the “utilization of clean energy’ to reduce dependency on oil.

In addition, they are investing in projects which seek to develop environmentally friendly business processes and to design environmentally friendly products. Consumers reward ‘green’ companies by supporting them. For example, American experts think that the reason people prefer Japanese cars to those of General Motors is because they are environmentally friendly. As a result, General Electric has announced that it will invest US$1.5 billion a year in environmentally friendly products. In the first half of 2006, the largest companies in the US invested US$958 million in renewable energy. It is estimated that companies which are members of The Green Power Market Development, which provides consulting services to entrepreneurs in America and Europe, will source a minimum of 10 percent of their annual energy requirements from renewable sources.

What Are Global Companies Doing?
It is significant that many companies which are successful in their sectors are today introducing a number of  environmentally friendly measures. Johnson & Johnson, DuPont, Starbucks and IBM are among the biggest corporate users of green energy in the US and these companies have renewable energy certificates. It has been announced that in 2010 use of environmentally energy resources in the US will reach 1,000 megawatts. This is described as ‘a good level’ in terms the utilization of restricted resources.

In Europe, British Telecom, Holcim, IKEA and Tetra Pak have come together to form the “Green Power Market Development Group’ in order to develop clean energy resources, such as the sun and wind, and use them in production.

BP reduced the emissions in its operations by 10 percent in the period 1998-2001,. In 2004 it launched a five year program worth US$350 million to reduce its emissions still further. It is estimated that the investment BP has made in solar energy will result in a reduction of one million tons a year in gas emissions.

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