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Going Green: One Company at a Time

Most people have heard of the phrase “going green”. If you go green, you can help animals and plants in our ecosystem to keep them from becoming extinct. An ecosystem is like a chain of dominoes. If a part of it falls, it affects many others. That is why an ecosystem is so fragile. Believe it or not, we are also affected if the ecosystem around us fails. But we can help stop the ecosystem from collapsing. We can do little things that help in the long run, and so do these “green” companies.

Bank of America- Bank of America is proving that eco-friendly operations can coexist with business growth. According to their corporate website, the company reduced paper use by 32% from 2000-2005. The company also runs an internal recycling program that recycles 30,000 tons of paper each year which saves about 200,000 trees for each year of the program’s operation. Bank of America also offers employees a $3,000 cash back reward for buying hybrid vehicles.

Starbucks- Starbucks has green advocates smiling about its “bean-to-cup” approach. By all measures the program appears to be a great success, with the company’s decision to use coffee cup sleeves made of recycled paper saving roughly 78,000 trees per year since 2006. Starbucks has also partnered up with many environmental organizations, from Conservation International to the Earthwatch Institute, in efforts to do right by the communities it operates in.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car- Since January 2008, Enterprise has made the world’s largest fleet of fuel-efficient vehicles, over 440,000 of which offer drivers 28 miles per gallon or better for highway travel. Roughly 5,000 of those vehicles are gas/electric hybrids, while another 73,000 have the option of being powered on E85 ethanol. In addition to these efforts, Enterprise has promised to plant fifty million trees across America’s forests.

Continental Airlines- Continental Airlines has spent over $16 billion in the last decade to replace its entire fleet of airplanes with more fuel-efficient ones, in addition to installing fuel-saving planes that cut emissions 5% on its 737 model aircraft. Beyond that, nitrogen oxide emissions from Continental’s busy Houston hub have been sliced by an astounding 75% since the year 2000. Continental might also be the only company with 12 full time “staff environmentalists” on the payroll who are constantly pairing up with engine manufacturers to design greener, more efficient processes into company operations. And is if this weren’t enough, the company makes a point of sorting all of its trash to see what can be recycled.

Hewlett-Packard (HP)- HP has gotten out in front of the computer disposal issue by owning and operating enormous “e-waste” recycling plants that shred discarded, obsolete computer products into raw materials that can be recycled into the industrial food chain. HP has also agreed to take back computer equipment of all brands, and taken steps to ensure that its own products are 100% recyclable in the manner discussed above. Additionally, the company has promised to lower its energy consumption a full 20% by the end of this year.





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