The weeks leading up to this year’s Earth Day were an exciting time for corporate environmental responsibility. Two more leading companies joined the myriad of other organizations, including Walmart, who recently pledged or reinforced their commitment to the climate: Apple and H&M.
These businesses positioned themselves as leaders in sustainability through the following actions:
- In celebration of Earth Day, Apple released a new video series highlighting the company’s efforts to address climate change—sending a clear message about their deep commitment to the environment. Environmental responsibility isn’t a new concept for Apple, which recently announced that it’s now powering 96 percent of its operations with renewable energy in the company’s offices, retail stores, and product distribution centers. Apple is also now 100 percent renewable in 24 countries, including all of its data centers.
- Global fashion retailer H&M also announced impressive achievements in its 2016 sustainability report, including a 47 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to 2015 and a total reduction of 77 percent since 2013. H&M has also committed to using 100 percent recycled or sustainably sourced materials by 2030 as part of its pledge to establish a “climate positive” supply chain by 2040.
It’s clear that corporate leaders are making the connection between environmental responsibility and the long-term health and growth opportunities of their organizations. Frank Inoa, Senior Director of Operations Engineering at Arby’s Restaurant Group, articulated that point nicely: “We all operate in hyper-competitive industries. When a company demonstrates that it cares about its people, its communities, and our environment, it allows you to differentiate yourself, and patrons take notice of that. Earning the public’s trust by being energy and resource efficient pays dividends on your bottom line and beyond.”
For more on corporate environmental responsibility, check out the recent blog post: Climate Action: How Businesses Can Take Action Now, by Ecova’s Interim President & CEO Martin Sieh.