Purchasing Power

In a recent Forbes article, Laurie McCabe, cofounder and partner in research firm SMB Group, said “green technology creates a virtuous cycle that provides small businesses cost savings, market differentiation and a chance to help the environment. We all want to consume more and more technology because it makes our lives easier. But we have to do it more sustainably, or there will be nothing left.”

The full article, “For Small Businesses, Green Technology is the Way to Grow” which can be found on Forbes’ website, offers some great tips for small businesses such as using the cloud, shopping green, reducing e-waste and leaving a smaller footprint.

To piggy back on that, we’ve compiled a list of green businesses. This list is not comprehensive, but targets companies in sectors that small businesses tend to use.

HP was ranked number one in Newsweek’s 2009 green rankings for it’s programs to reduce GHG emissions and it’s effort to remove toxic substances from its products. It has since fallen to 38 in the rankings, but continues to have high marks for energy, carbon, water and waste productivity.

The company announced in May that its stores will soon join its data centers by running on 100 percent renewable energy. The data centers currently run on solar panels and photovoltaic cells. According to the Philadelphia Business Journal, “in 2012, Apple avoided 93 million kilograms of CO 2 equivalent emissions, which is comparable to removing 19,300 passenger vehicles from the road.”

According to the EPA, last year 92 percent of Apple’s kWh came from renewable energy.

The Texas-based computer company is listed in the aforementioned article for its intent to double its green electricity use during manufacturing, using recycled plastics to create monitors and desktops, and reducing shipment weight by 73 percent by using padded envelopes.

The company has installed solar panels in its parking lot, which also provides shade. Dell tries to ship as many computers as possible instead of flying them, which uses less oil per pound. The company will also recycle your computer for free after it wipes your data.

IBM has incorporated sustainability into their strategic agenda. Their site states, “IBM is helping customers to become more energy efficient, implement new ways to source, manufacture and distribute goods and services in a more sustainable manner, enable safe and renewable sources of energy and manage resources at a macro level, transforming entire industries. IBM takes a holistic approach to our planet’s challenges that combines our innovative technology, deep business insight, and industry expertise. Together, we can enhance the sustainability of business-and our planet.”

Intel uses 100 percent green power to run it’s massive operations. The company is contracted for 3,100,850,000 kWh annually using a combination of biogas, biomass, small-hydro, solar and wind power.

Fifty percent of Microsoft’s power comes from renewable sources. In 2012, Microsoft went carbon neutral by establishing an internal carbon fee to improve energy efficiency and reduce their environmental impact. They also implemented a zero landfill policy for e-waste in the United States.

Hotels with Green Key Eco Ratings
Green Key Global’s Eco Ratings program recognizes motels, hotels and resorts that are committed to improving their environmental performance. Based on the results of a comprehensive environmental self-assessment, lodging facilities are rated from one to five keys, with five being the highest. To search for lodgings, go to www.greenkeyglobal.com.

The site also offers tips for being more energy efficient.

Meeting spaces and conventions
Green Key Global highlights properties which participate in the Green Key Meetings v1.0. “Green Key Meetings is about sustainable meeting operations, adding value to the bottom line through conservation and brand management, and positively influencing the supply chain and other relationships.”

According to Inc magazine, Enterprise offers the largest number of fuel efficient or hybrid rental cars. To celebrate Enterprise’s 50th birthday, CEO Andy Taylor pledged $50 million to plant 50 million trees over the next 50 years.

Ranked by Newsweek as 32 in their Top 100 Greenest Companies, Sprint continues to make many of the top lists for it’s renewable efforts. While only 6 percent of it’s power comes from renewable sources, it is the only mobile carrier to make the EPA’s top 100 list. The company has been recognized by a variety of organizations for its green focus and was honored for averting millions of pounds of waste from landfills.

Ranked 63 on Newsweek’s list, Staples offers 10,000 eco-responsible products, has more than 570 ENERGY STAR qualified facilities in the U.S. and 100 percent of their electricity comes from renewable sources. Each year, Staples recycles more than 76 million ink and toner cartridges and 20 million pounds of technology waste.

By choosing to purchase your goods and services through companies which have a commitment to sustainability, your company is able to further reduce it’s carbon footprint.
For more information:
EPA’s National Top 100 list of green power users: www.epa.gov/greenpower/toplists/top100.htm
America’s Greenest Companies: http://www.newsweek.com/green/americas-greenest-companies-2014

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