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by Aman Singh Das | November 20, 2009

Share's Green Initiatives in the Workplace Survey was launched last year to begin discussing environmental initiatives in place at companies and to gauge the level of awareness. However, the downturn was beginning to dawn on everyone and companies were much busier keeping their profit margins high. While we had many companies discuss their strategies, for the most part, 2008 was the "We Don't Care Enough" year.

2009 changed all that though. Along with President Obama's Recovery Act that promised billions in stimulus dollars to the creation of green jobs, clean technologies and energy efficiency projects, the downturn has forced companies to reconstruct their responsibility stage and re-strategize on how to jump into the green game. Recognition of a necessary climate change bill is increasing and media is starting to do its bit to educate everyone. Some of the large corporations are taking their infant steps toward creating annual CSR reports and setting up employee teams to discuss how to make their operations more sustainable.

Amid all this, the ruckus of layoffs and a distinct recognition that if we are to save our environment, corporate America will have to lead, presents its Green Initiatives in the Workplace Survey Results 2009. With over a 100 companies participating this year, it is clear that acknowledgment of work to be done is on the rise and the executive suite is starting to see greening their workplace as a necessity more than fulfilling a requirement.

Some of the interesting findings include:

  • Since 1990, Walt Disney World Resort’s water conservation initiatives have enabled net aquifer withdrawals to remain at the same level as 22 years ago.
  • 100% of Pepsi Bottling Company’s U.S. electricity needs are offset through the purchase of renewable energy credits.
  • Intel Corporation tied a portion of each employee’s variable compensation to the achievement of corporate-wide sustainability goals.
  • In 2008, General Electric invested more than $1.4 billion in cleaner technologies, up from $750 million in 2005.
  • Seventh Generation employees can be reimbursed for up to $500 per year for home initiatives to reduce their personal carbon footprint and are eligible for up to three $5,000 loans for longer term carbon footprints reduction efforts.

The survey also shows some interesting trends with 94.5% of those questioned practice waste reduction programs while 92.7% take part in energy conservation endeavors. In addition, 61.8% of those surveyed have environmental teams comprised of employees that are accountable for meeting green-related goals, and 69.8% answered that they consciously prefer to do business with suppliers or third-party vendors that are eco-friendly.

Sustainability is no longer just a buzzword. Copenhagen notwithstanding, it is these measures by corporate America and the need for new environmental careers that can ultimately lead change across the country. These 110 companies have taken the lead in their industries by taking the initiative to discuss their efforts in becoming sustainable and serve as inspirations for other companies to follow. To download the 2010 edition of the Vault's Guide to Green Programs, click here.


Filed Under: CSR

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