In many eco-circles, it’s quite easy to demonize business when it comes to its environmental record. And indeed, industry is to blame for a real share of environmental damage. But now, business is leading the way to a more responsible future. Companies are showing themselves to be much better than many individual consumers when it comes to personal energy use and resource efficiency.
Companies have more stakeholders to be accountable to
Everyday consumers can get away with buying a car that uses too much gas or running the air conditioner when no one is home. It’s much easier for them to pretend that their actions are independent of the world at large. It might hurt when they are spending a few extra thousand dollars a year on gasoline, but many people still choose to go this route.
Companies, on the other hand, have many more people that they have to answer to. Shareholders need to know that their money is being used as well as it could be, so they make sure that businesses are acting efficiently. Supply chain efficiency is becoming more popular, so suppliers have to answer to their B-to-B customers as well. Furthermore, companies can’t afford to be inefficient because that makes them less competitive.
Enterprise is leading adoption of green technologies
While many consumers wait to adopt green technologies until it is easy for them to do so, companies are being proactive and investing in green now (and reaping the rewards, too).
- Facebook, once heavily criticized for relying heavily on non-renewables, has now built a new data-center in Oregon that uses cutting-edge solar power technology.
- General Electric (GE) has purchased tens of thousands of electric vehicles and is also in the process of converting half of its global fleet to electric.
- Ford Motor Company is becoming a leader in innovative recycling. They are making engine parts out of carpet scraps that would have been wasted a few years ago.
Companies have seen how environmental responsibility and resource efficiency are vital components of a good business strategy. They don’t wait around for others in the space to go green, they’re doing it on their own. So while businesses haven’t always been the best friend to the earth in the past, they are looking to be its best ally for the future.