We spend a lot of time talking about how being environmentally friendly and having responsible waste management practices is a vital part of corporate responsibility in the 21st century. And we passionately believe consumers should ‘vote with their wallets’ and support those businesses that do operate sensible policies.
Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to sift the good from the bad. In fact, some businesses that you’d think aren’t that environmentally friendly are pretty responsible after all. So to help you work out where your money should be going in the future, we’ve pulled together five of our favourite eco-friendly companies – from a diverse range of different sectors.
It wasn’t too long ago that we discussed Morrison’s sustainable waste clearance and management policies, but we think they’re impressive enough to be discussed on this list as well. Recently, the popular supermarket announced plans to completely ditch single use plastics on all of its fresh fruit and vegetable products, replacing them with sustainable recyclable alternatives. The measure looks set to save somewhere around 150 million plastic bags each year.
But that’s not all that Morrison’s are up to. As well as this, they’re also offering extra loyalty card points for customers that bring along plastic containers to the fresh food counter, as well as vowing that all of their own brand packaging will be completely free of single use plastics by 2025.
If you pop into a Morrison’s café, you’ll find that all their plastic straws have now been replaced by recyclable alternatives, and if you’re particularly beady eyed, you might spot a recycling point outside the store on your way out.
Plenty of businesses around the country have adopted sustainable practices like this, and if you want to support them, it’s definitely worth looking out for these small things that make a big difference when you head on over to the supermarket, coffee shop or pub.
Chances are you won’t have much opportunity to visit this one, since this supermarket chain is based over in the Netherlands. But its impact is so profound that we certainly couldn’t deny it a spot in this list. If you’re ever on a trip to Amsterdam, make sure you take a trip to the Ekoplaza supermarket, because you might just run into the world’s very first plastic free aisle while you’re there.
It was first unveiled at the start of this year, at which point Ekoplaza pledged a hope to extend the policy to all 74 of its outlets across the Netherlands. The first example of this phenomenon in Amsterdam featured around 700 distinct products in its selection.
There’s been a fair amount of talk about plastic free aisles recently, but as of yet, no supermarket in the UK has managed to produce one. Hopefully, the influence of this Dutch trailblazer will set a few British companies pointing in the right direction.
Of course, it’s not just supermarkets that have come up with great waste management practices. Never one to miss out on the fun, the world-famous production company and retailer Disney now has a zero net emissions policy for direct greenhouse gas. They achieve this by substantially reducing electrical use.
The company is determined to make a positive contribution to the local environment. To support this, they’ve recently adopted technology that allows them to save water in all their facilities and have reduced their manufacturing and distribution footprint around the world.
You might not see many of Ikea’s fantastic environmental policies when you take a look around their famous warehouse-style outlets, but they’re definitely all there. All cotton used in Ikea is sourced from farms that meet Better Cotton standards, and about half of the wood they produce derives from sustainable foresters.
In the actual stores themselves, environmental footprint reduction strategies can be witnessed in action as many of its stores are partially powered by energy sourced from the 700,000 solar panels Ikea currently utilises. By 2020, they aim to be completely powered by solar energy.
Nike might seem like something of an unlikely addition to this list, but the company has made some impressive overtures in recent years to improve their sustainability standards. In 2015, they even managed to top the Morgan Stanley List of most sustainable clothing and footwear brands.
In order to clean up its act, the company has unilaterally decided to release information about its supply chain – so you can see exactly where your clothing is sourced from. All of their clothing is judged against an in-house sustainability index and they’ve reduced their emissions by over 18 per cent since 2003.
And if that wasn’t all impressive enough, you’ll be happy to hear that the retailers released an app back in 2013 that allows you to compare relevant information about the sustainability of individual products in their stores.
You couldn’t exactly expect us to write a blog about eco-friendly businesses without at least mentioning ourselves, right? In our defence, we haven’t included ourselves in the top five. You can make your own mind up where we belong…
What we can guarantee, is that all of our waste management services are completed to the highest possible professional and environmental standards, and that as much waste as possible is diverted from landfill sites. In fact, this is over 90 per cent.
As well as that, we also ensure that all our waste collection services come with a guaranteed two hour waiting period, meaning you’ll be certain that we’ll be in the door and out of the way before you notice the difference.