Biggest Companies Go Green

The worm has turned – 68% of the world’s most successful corporations now have climate change actions embedded as part of their business strategy, according to a new study. That’s a leap ahead from a year ago when just 48% did the same.

Paul Simpson, CEO of not-for-profit data collection group the Carbon Disclosure Project, which published the study on September 14, said it showed many emission-reducing activities increased profitability. “This is a win-win for business. Companies yet to take action on climate change will have to work hard to remain competitive as we head towards an increasingly resource constrained, low carbon economy.”

It’s the first time in the 10-year history of the study that the majority of companies surveyed make climate change a priority.

Simpson’s group looked at 404 companies representing 81% of the Global 500, which are the largest companies by market capitalization included in the FTSE Global Equity Index Series. Among the 10 best performers were Tesco, Phillips Electronics, and Sony.

So reducing carbon emissions makes business sense… The problem is it takes effort and resources to change the way systems are run and who has time for that when the pressure’s on in other areas?

With that in mind, we nicked a few tips from UK waste charity Wastewatch for reducing carbon emissions in the workplace that could produce quite substantial savings in the long term and probably would only take an afternoon to put in place.

1. Make it as easy for staff to recycle as it is to throw away by setting up recycling bins next to general bins. Reduce the number of general bins, and boom, you’re cutting the amount of waste your business sends to landfill.

2. Set timers on printers to turn power off in the evening and over the weekend. Easier and less annoying than nagging staff.

3. Change your stationery order to recycled paper and envelopes – the cost has fallen in recent years and the quality is excellent.

4. Every year millions of toners and cartridges are buried in landfill sites in the UK. And they’re expensive. What a waste. Order remanufactured laser toner and inkjet cartridges or refill your own.

5. It’s the rare business email that doesn’t come tagged with a warning: “Please don’t print this unless you need to.” Sometimes you just have to print, so ease printer-guilt and stay green by putting clear instructions on printers showing staff how to set the default printing mode to double sided, two pages on each sheet, and economy mode to save paper and toner.

Read the 2011 Carbon Disclosure Project Global here:

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Simon Moxon is founder and CEO of Meetupcall. A life-long geek turned entrepreneur currently having fun growing Meetupcall into a proper company.

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