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Clean Business Strategies

In the midst of the climate crisis, clean business strategies are vital.

Even for a business unconcerned with the climate crisis, it would be in its best interest to invest in climate protection. Today, entrepreneurs and companies prosper from adopting more efficient practices, especially as environmental concerns worsen.

Made clear throughout history, it is the nations that innovate to meet the needs of humans and the environment who have ruled the world, politically and otherwise. With environmental responsibility comes innovation, this has been proven time and again as some of the world’s leading companies strive to improve their efficiency and sustain their good reputations.

In the early 2000’s, Dupont pledged to reduce its carbon emisson’s to 65 percent below their 1990’s levels, vowing to do so by 2010. Dupont made this pledge not because of environmental concern but to increase their shareholder value. They met their goals and after a 67 percent decrease in their global emissions, they had a 340 percent increase in stock value.

STMicroelectronics, a computer chip manufacturing company, pledged to become carbon neutral by the 2010 – and to do so while increasing production forty-fold. Despite having little idea at the time to how they would achieve this, they allowed their goal to inspire innovation within the company and ultimately reached it. Upon achieving this goal, STMicroelectronics estimates they had already saved a billion dollars.  This achievement also increased the company’s ranking, from number-twelve chip maker in the world to number-six.

It would also seem although businesses are not required to submit answers to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), companies interested in the capital markets would be advised to do so. This alone helps companies realize their largest areas of cost and consumption. Thus, allowing them to create alternate ways to keep their operations running that cut their carbon footprint and increase value. Companies that fail to manage their carbon footprint wisely are often deemed unworthy of investment.

In 2008, Walmart sent the Carbon Disclosure Project to China to inform suppliers if they wished to remain in collaboration with Walmart,  they would have to report their carbon footprints. Just a few years prior, in 2005, Walmart had already made a few pledges; they pledged to be supplied entirely by renewable energy; they pledged to create zero waste, and they pledged to sell products that sustain resources and the environment.

Again, such initiatives were stated and met, not for the good of the environment (though the environment has benefited greatly from them) but as a business strategy to save money and compete in a carbon-constrained world.

This is something for all businesses to consider, as in the end they only gain from implementing environmentally responsible practices.

Climate Capitalism, L. Hunter Lovins and Boyd Cohen, Copyright 2011

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