All around the world, there are companies aiming to use their influence to encourage environmentally conscious business practices, or even replace entire industries with greener alternatives.
With a new age of decarbonisation and a shift toward sustainable culture popular among consumers, some companies are leading the charge for green capitalism more than others.
Read on to find out more about these five businesses that are prioritising the environment before their profits in order to preserve our planet’s wellbeing.
Green businesses aim to minimise their effect on the environment
“Green business” is a relatively new term so definitions may vary. Most agree that a green business will:
- Use sustainable materials for its products
- Use as little energy and water as possible in its processes
- Keep carbon emissions to a minimum
- Recycle surplus or waste materials
- Use sustainable and ethical methods of production.
In general, green businesses aim to limit any negative effects they have on the environment and even hope to have positive impacts on the natural world.
1. Skipping Rocks Lab
With Greenpeace reporting that 12 million tonnes of plastic waste end up in oceans each year, the pollution that plastic causes around the globe is a serious problem and one that Skipping Rocks Lab aims to resolve.
Plastic has many harmful effects on sea life and can eventually find its way into our bodies through microplastics that are starting to be found in supermarket fish. According to a Forbes report, Coca-Cola is among the worst offenders for plastic bottles, producing 108 billion of them every year.
As a response to this, the London-based start-up has created edible capsules that retain liquids, with the hope that they can replace the need for plastic bottles. These are manufactured from natural ingredients like seaweed and other plants so are completely biodegradable.
The design is also compatible with alcoholic products as well as cosmetics and, if successful, could see plastic bottles phased out for good.
Contributing to humanitarian as well as environmental causes, footwear manufacturer TOMS is one of the most eco-friendly brands of shoe you can find.
The fast lifecycles of modern shoes represent an important ecological issue to tackle, with the Guardian reporting that some soles can take up to 1,000 years to decompose in landfill.
To avoid this, TOMS manufactures its lightweight, sandal-style footwear with strictly vegan and recyclable materials – and the same goes for the packaging in which they arrive to you. This way, your shoes aren’t lingering around in the soil for centuries after you throw them away.
On top of this, TOMS operated a “buy-one-give-one” scheme in which they donate a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair they sell. The company has also doubled down on its charitable intentions and pledged to donate one-third of its profits to grassroots organisations.
TOMS has even provided clean drinking water and safe birth kits to disadvantaged areas in a commitment to its unique blend of charity and sustainability.
Aqua-Yield harnesses nanotechnology to benefit the agriculture trade with efficient and sustainable growing nutrients.
It delivers liquid nutrition to crops on a cellular basis, which can reduce the costs for growers in several different ways.
One reason for this is that the efficient delivery of nutrients reduces the amount of water required to feed the crops. This helps to save farmers and growers money while also reducing the harmful effects that high water consumption can have on the environment.
The nutrients also boost yields and reduce growing times, which can help to incentivise farmers to use this eco-friendly method.
Best of all, unlike other growth enhancers, the nutrients don’t cause damage to soil, which makes it even more environmentally sustainable.
A clothing brand by mountaineers, for mountaineers – true to the principles of its rock-climbing founder – Patagonia chiefly seeks to boost the longevity of the environment by broadcasting their message of responsible consumption to its many customers.
Patagonia aims to use its influence as a major brand to actively encourage its customers to pursue healthier shopping habits, especially when it comes to clothes.
It implores shoppers to fix, upcycle, or make do with older items of clothing they may have, rather than disposing of them and buying a replacement. While you may be concerned about the effect this has on Patagonia’s profits, the company itself is not.
It even released an advert depicting one of its products with text saying “Don’t buy this jumper”, proving a willingness to sacrifice profits in order for environmental consciousness. Epitomising this sentiment, Patagonia’s founder Yvon Chouinard has pledged to donate the entire company to charity.
5. Bergey Windpower
Bergey Windpower is a leader in the field of domestic wind power appliances used to generate sustainable energy.
Its main focus is to provide homes and businesses with miniature turbines that create electricity for users. In doing so, Bergey offers a useful reminder that solar power doesn’t have to be the only option for individuals looking to generate clean energy.
Just as important, its products are renowned for their longevity and rarely need attention or service to keep working at full capacity. This reduces the need for replacement parts or models that would end up contributing to excess waste.
Bergey’s products are a great way for consumers to access varying methods of sustainable energy, especially for those living where the sun rarely shines.
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