During the past 365 days, Mother Earth has shown humanity that it’s not too late for us to start taking climate change seriously. The global pandemic forced all of us to hit pause and for the first time we were able to see how we could save the Earth and bring it back to more sustainable levels if we just make a commitment to it.
We witnessed cleaner skies and less air pollution from New Dehli to LA. Dolphins and fish returned to the Venice canals. These are measurable and unintended markers of climate change — in the right direction for once — resulting from the pandemic and how we were forced to simply slow down. Unfortunately, without governments, businesses and communities coming together to solve this global challenge, these amazingly positive outcomes will be relegated to one small but mighty anecdote coming out of the pandemic.
We have less than 30 years left to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions but thankfully, companies are starting to understand that focusing on sustainability is not just good for the planet but good for business too. Just check out the new global consumer survey from the IBM Institute of Business Value, released today, which states that 93% of respondents say the pandemic affected their views on environmental stability.
We must all do our part to create a positive impact. On this Earth Day, we’ve curated a list of companies to show that no matter the industry you’re in, there are steps you can take to help fight climate change. Join us in the SU Global Community and let us know who you would add to this list of companies working to do better by doing good for the Earth!
10 Companies Doing Good for the Earth
- Patagonia – This is more than a clothing store. Pairing products with activism, Patagonia provides programs that encourage users to re-wear their clothes, give grants to organizations fighting climate change, and connect participants with grassroots teams of activists in their area. They also participate in 1% for the planet, giving 1% of their sales back to the environment every year.
- A Good Company – Branding eco-mindedness into an Etsy-shaped package, A Good Company supplies products for creatives, by creatives. Boasting climate-neutral shipping, a carbon-negative footprint, and even their own foundation (where they share 4% of their profits with causes that promote sustainability), this company truly lives up to its name.
- Chipotle Mexican Grill – Starting this year, 10% of Chipotle executives’ annual incentives will be tied to their progress toward achieving the company’s environmental and diversity goals. This change follows similar initiatives taken by McDonald’s and Starbucks earlier this year, and offers a unique approach to sustainability for public companies. In the past year, Chipotle’s stock has increased 92.1% (as of today) and with consumers and large asset managers looking for companies focused on sustainability, this move is a win/win for both people and planet. Additionally, the company plans to release its carbon emissions footprint by the end of the year – four years earlier than expected! With this release, we expect to see additional sustainability initiatives from the company.
- Etsy – Speaking of Etsy, this company has also been busy fighting the good fight. In 2019, Etsy became the first global e-commerce company to offset 100% of its shipping-based carbon emissions. They have since offset over 173,000 metric tons of CO2 and are working to do even more by 2030.
- Orbital Systems – Motivated by the world’s global water shortage, Orbital Systems are the creators of the world’s first circular shower system. By reusing water, this system saves up to 90% more water than regular showers while using significantly less energy.
- Adidas –They’re making sustainability look good, really good. For over 20 years, Adidas has been at the forefront of sustainability. They were the first to bring eco-innovation to the global market, not to mention having held a spot on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index every year since it was created in 1999. A leader in the sports industry, Adidas is setting out not just to do better for themselves but for the entire industry through innovation and collaborations. On a mission to end plastic waste, they’ve created new innovative ways to repurpose materials like ocean plastic into cutting-edge designs as part of their sustainability series.
- Unicorn Snot – Yes, really. This small, 14-person company has been working on the forefront of sustainable glitter. Traditionally, glitter has been made up of tiny pieces of reflective plastic – an environmental nightmare. While acknowledging that glitter is here to stay, Unicorn Snot has been working on creating a glitter line made from 100% renewable plant starches. If they succeed, they will be the first company to create glitter that is both 100% biodegradable and equally shiny to their plastic counterparts.
- CarbonCure – Did you know that concrete contains harmful carbon dioxide gases? Cement is responsible for around 7% of annual CO2 emissions across the globe. CarbonCure is working to change that. They have created a product that eliminates CO2 from concrete while maintaining the original cement’s strength. They are working to make their CO2 removal technology standard for all concrete production across the globe.
- Beyond Meat – If you thought concrete was bad, prepare to be shocked: 18% of all greenhouse emissions are produced by animal agriculture. That’s why Beyond Meat has created plant-based meat alternatives that taste almost identical to your favorite fast-food staples. In addition to providing meat alternatives at competitive prices in Walmarts and other grocery stores, Beyond Meat has been collaborating with popular chains (such as Philz Coffee and even McDonalds) to help make meat alternatives mainstream.
- Burt’s Bees –Burt’s Bees has been long known as a leader in company-wide sustainability, and its impact only increased in 2020. In February of this year, Paula Alexander (Burt’s Bees senior director of sustainability) stated that, “The challenges of the pandemic have only heightened the importance of protecting nature as a resource, for the health of people and all life on Earth. That’s why we’ve chosen to focus on systemic changes across our supply chain while working toward a circular economy—to enable a more connected and stable relationship between people and nature.” In line with this commitment, Burt’s Bees has made large strides towards ethical practices. For example, in 2020, they switched all of their packaging to be 100% recyclable, 50% of which was made with recycled materials. They have also been collaborating with other environmentally-minded organizations including the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and The Recycling Partnership.
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