Four Corporations and Their Current Sustainability Initiatives

By: Aidan Das

Climate change and the need for conserving natural resources has caused many corporations to realize the importance of reducing wastes, their carbon footprints and protecting the environment. Here are four large companies that have been initiating sustainability goals and plans:

  1. Chipotle

Based on Chipotle’s 2019 Sustainability Report, they have diverted 47 percent of their waste (and have a goal of 50 percent by 2020) to be composted, recycled, or turned into energy. They have also started a program with Revolution Bag to convert used gloves into trash bags that can be reused in their restaurants. Chipotle has also been researching and working on ways to increase their use of renewable energy sources and decrease their emissions through carbon offsets.

Recently Chipotle has launched a footprint calculator that shows its customers how much water was saved, antibiotics avoided, how much less carbon is produced, and the improved soil health that comes with food they order compared to the averages of the restaurant industry. Chipotle is one of the first restaurants to show their customers this much detail about the environmental costs of the food it sells.

Chipotle also has a sustainable clothing collection. These clothes are made from organic cotton and dyed using leftover avocado pits from its restaurants. All proceeds from the clothing collection go to organizations that make farming and fashion more sustainable.

  1. Starbucks

By 2030, Starbucks has goals to reduce its carbon emissions, water withdrawal, and waste by 50 percent. The specific goals and plans will be released on Starbucks’s 50th anniversary in 2021. The company also wants to become “resource positive” by sequestering more carbon than they emit and producing more clean water than they use.

Starbucks is currently eliminating waste with their strawless lid trial which is now going to be implemented in all its company-operated and licensed stores. The new lid cuts back on about nine percent of the plastic that came from the straw and flat lid they used to have.

  1. LEGO

LEGO has a goal to produce all of their bricks from sustainable materials by 2030 and create packaging that is made out of recycled or renewable materials by 2025. To reduce waste from old bricks, the company established a program called Replay where customers can send in their old bricks to be given to organizations like Teach for America and Boys & Girls Club of America. By 2025, LEGO wants to make sure that none of their waste from its factories, offices and stores is put into landfills.

  1. General Mills

General Mills has reduced their greenhouse gas emissions by 14 percent since 2010 and have a goal to reduce them by an additional 30 percent by 2030. The company is committed to put into place regenerative agriculture practices on 1 million acres of land by 2030. Regenerative agriculture focuses on the ecosystem of the farm as a whole by restoring natural nutrient and water processes and increasing biodiversity, which helps increase the health of the soil. Some regenerative techniques include crop rotation, reduced tillage and the planting of cover crops.

These companies can be examples for other large (and small) companies on how to implement more sustainable practices. As more corporations feel the pressures from customers to change the way they manufacture their products, it is important that they are held accountable to their promises and are transparent about their progress in terms of sustainability.

Cover photo courtesy of Pixabay

GreenHawks Media

GreenHawks Media is Miami University’s first environmental publication. Our goal is to unite green initiatives on campus and in the community. We hope to make a difference in a journalistic fashion by spreading news and information as well as educating our readers. We would like to present GreenHawks Media as a central place for groups and individuals to share their ideas, concerns, and initiatives. Individually and in small groups, efforts are made to make a difference and promote change. While one person may have a concern, another is researching it and needs assistance. While one initiative is being made in a science department, a similar idea is being discussed in a local business. GreenHawks Media provides the opportunity for shared visions to come together. We are journalists, writers, photographers, and scientists. We are students. We are motivated to use media to contribute to the change that our generation needs to make in order to protect and understand the planet we call home.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s