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Best Practices in Sustainability
Posted by Michele Carchman on Mar 22, 2016 10:30:00 AM
Many companies incorporate sustainability practices in all areas of their operations. From policies, production processes, products and services, every member of their corporate community takes part in promoting sustainability. As a result, their sustainability programs are effective, self-preserving and resilient, assuring they will be carried on by future leaders of the company.
Some best practice examples of company-specific initiatives are summarized below:
Patagonia has a number of programs in place that other companies have modeled. Patagonia has 192 Fair Trade Certified products sewn by workers at Pratibha Syntex in India. The Fair Trade Certified label ensures that a product is socially and environmentally sustainable. Patagonia down products use 100% Traceable Down, meaning the down used in their products can be traced back to birds that were never force-fed and never live-plucked. Patagonia’s Worn Wear program encourages consumers to bring their worn Patagonia jackets to Patagonia stores for repair, recycling or repurposing.
Ford Motor Company
Ford’s use of renewable materials across its full lineup of vehicles has grown considerably over the years. In 2007, Ford began to employ soy foam in their seat cushions and backs. The company has also introduced plant-based castor oil foam in the instrument panel of the 2012 Ford Focus and 2013 Ford Escape and Mustang. Ford Escape’s interior door panels are a mixture of 50% Kenaf (a tropical plant related to cotton) and 50% plastic. Ford Flex’s storage bins use wheat-straw-reinforced plastic, which has reduced Ford’s petroleum usage by 20,000 pounds and carbon dioxide emissions by 30,000 pounds annually.
Ben and Jerry’s
Ben and Jerry’s aids dairy farms in the US and Europe in adopting sustainable farming practices through its Caring Dairy program. This innovative program aims to help dairy farms in the US and Europe adopt sustainable farming practices such as crop rotation, composting and raising cows without the use of growth hormones. Cows also receive adequate food, drink, exercise, rest and are even given massages. The Caring Dairy program earned Ben and Jerry’s the first Compassion in World Farming’s Good Dairy Award in 2013. The ice cream manufacturer sends its dairy waste to two of the farms in their Caring Dairy program, where it is recycled and generated into biomass energy to power the farm.
Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson upholds its Global Labor and Employee Guidelines to ensure that all of their operating units around the world are fully complying with the laws and regulations of the respective countries in which they operate. The company also communicates their high expectations on business relationships with external stakeholders through its Responsibility Standards for Suppliers.
Nike emphasizes transparency in every aspect of its operations. It publicly shares its list of factories, as well as their respective manufacturing and labor profiles. Nike also openly discloses the results of its contract factory inspections. Its CSR reports detail the way they address and solve stakeholder challenges.
Genuinely sustainable companies make sustainability and social investment guiding principles of their business operations, ensuring that their policies, partnerships, products and services focus on ESG concerns, and doing their share in promoting a sustainable society.
FirstCarbon Solutions (FCS) helps organizations recognize business drivers for sustainability practices and offers cost-effective sustainability management solutions, based upon industry best practices. For more information, subscribe to our monthly newsletter, GreenWatch.