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How Major Brands Can Join Forces to Meet Their Corporate Responsibility

March 30, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 167

When it comes to corporate responsibility, an increasing number of companies these days recognise the importance of including environmental sustainability amongst their goals. Going green is not just a fad. On the contrary, a 2011 green brands survey conducted by WPP companies Cohn and Wolfe, Landor Associates and Penn Schoen Berland showed that consumers were becoming more and more willing to buy from green companies, thus justifying corporate environmental efforts. The comprehensive research, which consisted of 9,009 online interviews across Austria, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, the US and the UK, proved that customers planned on spending more money on sustainable products in the future. Some 95 percent of respondent consumers said they were willing to pay a higher price for a green-classified product, and 88 percent said that in evaluating different brands the level of corporate environmental awareness and the scope of sustainability practices that the brands showcased were of utmost importance.

It doesn't come as a surprise then that brand-owners will look for creative ways to differentiate themselves from the competition, and working together with other environmentally-minded corporations may make perfect business sense. One environmental joint venture in the US serves as a prime example of how this can be accomplished.

NativeEnergy, a US developer for carbon offsets, recently announced that it has teamed up with a number of North America's biggest brands to help them deliver on their corporate responsibilities goals while at the same time achieving a lasting positive impact on the environment. Here's the list: Aveda, eBay, Presidio, Esurance, Eileen Fisher, Clif Bar, Comedy Central, Brighter Planet, ABR, Inc., AllPack, Ben & Jerry's, Eco Products, National Geographic, RLP Capital, The Brick Companies, Carlisle & Co., Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run, College of the Atlantic Designtex, Pax World, Reverb, Touring Green, Vital Choice and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. All have agreed to purchase carbon offsets from NativeEnergy, thus providing critical upfront funding for emission reduction projects. These include a farm methane reduction project in Pennsylvania, a landfill gas-to-energy project in Oklahoma and two wind turbines in Iowa.

It's likely that none of the participating companies would have been willing to single-handedly shell out a substantial enough amount of capital to entirely fund any one of the three projects. But pooling their funds in such a strategic way will certainly make a difference in the long run - both in their bottom line (investors please take note) and on the environment (cue accolades from anti-global warming activists).

In a press release President of NativeEnergy Jeff Bernicke stated: "By becoming Project Supporters, these businesses have made a substantial commitment to generating cleaner energy and materials...Each company has already incorporated a number of sustainability initiatives into their operations. Together, they are taking another effective step in addressing their carbon footprints."

The collaborative effort is expected to provide an economic boost to local communities and cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than 400,000 metric tonnes. The Iowa wind-farm project, for example, which is supported by Eileen Fisher, Aveda, Touring Green, Clif Bar, Designtex and Reverb, will produce enough energy to power 5,200 homes. Additionally, it will avoid an estimated 9,000 metric tonnes of carbon emissions annually for the first 10 years of operation.

The Oklahoma Wewoka Biogas Project, funded by carbon offsets sold to eBay, Esurance, Designtex, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Eco-Products, Clif Bar, Brighter Planet, Reverb, Vital Choice, Touring Green, Presidio, College of the Atlantic and individuals across the US, is designed to channel methane from a landfill to a family-owned brick plant, which will use the biogas to fire its kilns and reduce its use of natural gas. The project will effectively avoid about 30,000 metric tonnes of carbon emissions per year for the first 10 years of operation.

And last but not least, the Northeast Farm Separation Project, funded by carbon offsets purchased by Ben & Jerry's, The Brick Companies, Carlisle & Company, Comedy Central, RLP Capital, Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run, Pax World, and ABR, Inc, will use advanced technology to separate volatile solids from farm manure, reducing the emission of methane. It will also benefit farmers by helping them reduce agricultural runoff.

Source: EzineArticles
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