Some companies are fine with the status quo. Others are making a huge push toward sustainability. Here are 5 companies truly focused on energy savings and sustainable practices.
1. Sierra Nevada
Why not start the list of sustainable companies with a beer manufacturer?
Image via Flickr by USFWS Mountain Prairie
Sierra Nevada puts most companies to shame. The company generates 20 percent of its own electricity with 10,573 solar panels. It creates another 40 percent with hydrogen fuel cells.
The brewery has also found ways to reduce energy consumption. Efficient lights, motion sensors, timers, and large windows for ample natural light help the company use less energy. The company has even built a train track, so it can bring ingredients right to its factory using the most energy-efficient transportation options.
Umicore has earned respect as one of the world’s most sustainable companies. If you haven’t heard of Umicore, it’s a Belgian company that works in the materials industry. It focuses on performance materials, recycling, energy materials, and catalysis.
The company stands out because of its commitment to sustainability of all kinds. It has a company-wide program tasked with meeting standards that exceed those set by any government agency.
Umicore isn’t just trying to brand itself as a “green business,” either. Its program holds the Executive Committee responsible for meeting objectives in energy use, greenhouse gas production, and product sustainability. It also has a team that monitors and follows up on claims to make sure the standards are met.
3. The Energy Detective
The Energy Detective does more than try to reduce its own energy use. It helps others reduce the amount of energy that they use. This company creates products that let homeowners and businesses measure their electricity usage. The interesting thing is that it does this in a way you can actually understand.
Yes, it will tell you how many kilowatt hours you use, but it will also tell you how much money that costs. It will even give you a projected bill for the month. Sometimes you need to see the numbers before you realize how much electricity you’re wasting.
|Image via Flickr by apoyopublicacion|
This popular search engine requires a massive framework of data centers to withstand the workload of millions and millions of daily searches, most of which are completed in less than a second. These data centers can eat up massive amounts of energy, but companies like Google are taking an approach that works smarter. Not only does Google utilize renewable energy sources to power this operation, but they’ve taken innovation a step further.
In 2009, Google purchased the Summa Mill paper company in Finland where it pumps in icy sea water to help cool the data center. This is a massive reduction in energy use that is being replicated by other companies. So the next time you’re browsing on wireless internet getting back thousands of search results in a split second, remember that data may have been cooled by icy, Finnish waters. This is an important sign of leadership from the largest search engine in the world.
5. Novo Nordisk
Novo Nordisk, the pharmaceuticals and biotech company, has ranked amongst the world’s most sustainable businesses for years. Its sustainability applies to more than just energy use, too. It has a commitment to slowing climate change, protecting environmental resources, and supporting needy populations all over the world.
Novo Nordisk even includes an environmental performance report in its annual business report. That makes things clear for everyone to see.
Do you know of other companies pushing to change the way people use energy? What companies stand out as the best in your mind?
Guest Post by Jake Fisher
Jake Fisher is a freelance writer who specializes in Tech and Culture. When he isn’t writing you can find him in his urban garden, driving around in a Prius or riding his bike. For more information on how to save energy, grow your own food, or make anything follow Jake on Twitter @JakeMFisher