June 21st, 2013 by Guest Contributor
A lot of companies out there claim to “going green.” Take the different manufacturers of hybrid automobiles, for instance. Sure, the cars use less fossil fuels than conventional automobiles. However, they still emit a ton (well, many tons) of greenhouse gases, and their manufacturing processes are also highly energy intensive.
Hybrid manufacturers are not alone; many corporations tend to focus on making an eco-friendly product and forget to use an eco-friendly process. Not so with the following manufacturers. Whether they be big names or small, these 10 companies know how to go green on the production line.
IKEA uses a lot of lumber to make its affordably priced furniture. However, the company uses sustainable forestry techniques, which means that the minimalist yet stylish nightstand you just bought didn’t cost the planet a piece of a rainforest. The company is also investing in solar and wind energy to an unprecedented degree. The company plans to double its already strong investments in renewable energy and hit 100% clean energy by 2020. It also leads the way in selling cleaner, greener products.
This footwear giant does more for the environment than encourage people to walk; its headquarters in the Netherlands use recycled aluminum frames and underground energy storage. It also enforces strict emission standards at all of its factories, and has been able to reduce its overall carbon footprint by approximately 80% since the late 90s. Furthermore, it offers the greenest soccer shoes around.
In an attempt to become the most socially responsible organization in the world, Johnson & Johnson has recently begun switching much of its energy dependency over to solar power. It is now the second largest user of solar power in the United States, with over half of its energy derived from clean sources.
4. QMI Services
QMI is a company that designs automated handling equipment (such as barcode scanning systems and weigh in motion devices) for use in factories around the world. They make this list because of the efficient way they use energy on the production line. They make the list again because the products they manufacture help other companies also efficiently use energy on the production line.
Not only does Philips strive to drastically increase its energy efficiency in its production process, but it also invests billions of euros into green research, so that every company on earth can someday be as eco-friendly as it is trying to be. That research has resulted in a tiny LED, award-winning LEDs, the world’s “smartest” LED, the most efficient white LED, and much more.
6. Earth Tec
It’s one thing to recycle materials into new products. Earth Tec takes it a step further by using recycled products in the production process. Things like plastic bottles are saved from landfills so that they can be used to help make eco-friendly clothing.
Schott is a glass company that caught eco-friendly eyes when it manufactured the world’s first glass-ceramic cooktop without using heavy metals arsenic and antimony as additives. Limiting the use of heavy metals is crucial to environmental stability, because the methods used to extract them from the earth are so damaging. It’s also lowered its emission and waste products substantially in the last twenty years.
Back in 2008, Dell pledged that it would reduce its total manufacturing emissions by 40% by the end of 2015. With just two years to go, it looks like Dell is going to easily reach its goal.
Initiatives to reduce pollution, conserve energy, and recycle are standard in the Tupperware production process. Very strict environmental policies are enforced in its manufacturing plants around the world, and the environmental payoff is extraordinary.
You wouldn’t expect it after seeing a few Macintosh commercials, but IBM is actually really progressive. It’s been moving towards more environmentally friendly practices since back when “green” still meant “yellow + blue.” In the decade between 1990 and 2000, it reduced its overall power consumption by 5.1 billion kilowatt hours, and that includes power used for manufacturing.
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