As a 21st Century business, the odds are very good that you are, or have considered being, “green.” While going green was largely considered nothing more than a trend when it first entered the business scene, studies have shown that being more eco-friendly can have numerous positive effects on any type of business, from economic factors to consumer-related ones.
Now, during the age of information, any consumer can simply go online to find out whether a company practices green initiatives or not. But why make it so hard for them to figure out what you are doing for the environment when you know eco-friendliness is such an important business practice to today’s modern consumer?
Here are a few ways that some of the world’s biggest companies are making their intentions known:
McDonald’s Greens its Arches: Who would ever associate going green with a company whose business is based around hamburgers, fries and soft drinks? Well, believe it. Over the last decade the fast-food chain has made substantial eco-friendly strides. The restaurant giant now puts its used cooking oil into biodiesel vehicles, uses non-hydrogenated cooking oils and purchases sustainably grown coffee and organic milk. In addition, McDonald’s has updated many of its restaurants to run more efficiently, in some cases even replacing entire buildings.
So what has McDonald’s done to highlight its intentions? While the background of the iconic golden arches remains red in the U.S., in many European countries, such as France and Germany, the background has been changed to green. Simple enough, right? So while you can still go online to discover what McDonald’s is doing for the environment, the golden (and green) arches also give it away.
Bank of America Goes Green from the Ground Up: Bank of America has always been at the forefront of green practices. It has pledged to spend billions of dollars on commercial lending and investment banking projects considered “green.” It now offers more eco-friendly credit and debit cards and has supplied many of its employees with cash incentives to buy energy-efficient cars.
However, the real symbol of Bank of America’s commitment to the environment sits at the corner of 42nd Street and 6th Avenue in Manhattan. The Bank of America tower, which was completed in 2009, prides itself on being one of the most energy-efficient buildings in the world. The environmentally friendly features of the building have been highly publicized. Some of them include a grey water system, which captures rainwater for reuse, and floor-to-ceiling insulating glass windows, which contain heat and maximize natural light. In addition, the tower was largely built out of recycled materials. As the second-tallest building in New York, the Bank of America tower stands as a literal beacon of hope for all environmentally friendly businesses.
Coca-Cola Keeps Going Green Cool: Coca-Cola has always been a company that prides itself on identifying with hip culture. So, it was only natural for the 125-year-old beverage company to step onto the green scene sooner or later. Coca-Cola has tackled three particular fronts when it comes to the green movement: recycling, water conservation and climate protection. The company has not only gotten involved with local community recycling programs around the world, but it has even redesigned its packaging to benefit the environment and consumer health (putting caloric content on the front of the can? How innovative and daring!)
All of this and more can be highlighted in Coca-Cola’s “Live Positively” movement, which encourages people to become greener along with the company. A visit to the movement’s website both explains how Coca-Cola is making changes and offers avenues for consumers to become more involved in helping the planet.
These companies are paving the way and proving that it’s okay to show off good behavior. With the green movement being such a large portion of the consumer psyche, you can’t afford not to consider it – and neither can the environment.