Updated: Apr 24, 2020
The definition of sustainability is satisfying all the needs in your present, without compromising the needs for future generations. It can encompass many aspects of life: social, environmental and political. The idea of sustainability has become increasingly popular over the last few years and the Earth is seeing some major benefits coming from a society that is more sustainably conscious.
Sustainability is three dimensional
In this article you will read about:
1. The History of Sustainability
2. Eight Corporate Giants moving towards Sustainability
3. Why should you become more sustainable?
The History of Sustainability + Impact on Businesses
Sustainability isn’t a brand new term, but it most certainly isn’t old either. Back in 1987, a report called the Brundtland Report was released by WCED (World Commission of Environment and Development). The report introduced the idea of ‘sustainable developments.' The WCED was sponsored by the United Nations and chaired by a man named Gro Harlem Brundtland, the Prime Minister of Norway at the time. The commission explored what caused the environment to degrade. They attempted to understand the connections between equity, economic growth, and the many environmental problems of the world. In turn, they worked hard to develop policy solutions that encompassed these complex areas into one.
The final concept of sustainability was popularized later on in 1992 in Rio de Janeiro. It stated that to be sustainable, whether you are a public or private party, your actions need to be interconnected within the three dimensions of environment, economy, and society.
Sustainability revolves around much more than just the environment. Economic and society based well-being are important to withhold for upcoming generations.
Sustainability is not going to be a quick-fix - it requires long-term systems and change.
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From here, companies started to rapidly hop on the train of sustainability and really clean up their act when it came to products, sourcing, employee conditions, and the emissions their products produced. In turn, customers started purchasing from companies that include Mother Earth in their mission statements. We love ‘feel good’ and ‘do good’ companies and so do customers!
Fortunately, there are some amazing, big corporations out there that are inspiring smaller businesses and customers to choose more sustainable options when it comes to making purchases.
Keep reading to see what some of these amazing companies are doing for the environment…
Eight Corporate Giants moving towards Sustainability
Ikea speaks on becoming more ‘people and planet’ friendly in their most recent sustainability report. They have set a super challenging sustainability goal to accomplish by year 2030 and are committed to making sure that it happens.
Ikea believes that the next 12 years will really determine the type of world that we pass on to the next generation of humans. They vow to do something to make a difference in this time period. Ikea is pulling inspiration from grassroots movements for their sustainability journey. They are inspired by movements involving climate change, plastic pollution, human rights, and inequality.
Ikea’s sustainability program is focusing around three major aspects: promoting sustainable living, becoming a climate-positive business, and working on fairness and inclusivity when it comes to company and employer relations. Ikea also plans to promote home solar and roll out a zero-emissions delivery program by 2025.
They are showing their commitment to sustainability and developing innovative solutions for the future.
Large corporations have a global impact on consumer products
This huge parent company of popular brands such as Lipton Tea, Good Humour, Popsicle, Suave, Bed Head, and SO MANY MORE, is committing to not only becoming more sustainable but reducing waste and water use and improving nutrition.
Unilever set a huge goal for the year 2025 - 100% of its plastic packaging will be reusable, recyclable, or compostable. THIS IS HUGE. For such a giant company, committing to the Earth and will truly shape the way future generations see our environment.
Not only are they focusing on reducing waste, but they’re also fighting gender norms and taking a look at equality in the workplace. One of their goals in building diversity is empowering women across the globe. In addition, they aim to be a role model for world change so other companies can look to them for improving their own sustainability methods.
Unilever is also one of the world’s biggest tea producers. They are working with over 40 tea farms that are committed to sustainability. In addition, 20% of these tea farms are Rainforest Alliance Certified.
In addition to all of those amazing changes Unilever is making, they’re also aiming to use 100% renewable resources to reduce their carbon emissions.
Sometimes a little thing like packaging goes a long way
Sustainable practices are nothing new to this worldwide, technology brand. They have been working on this for YEARS and have had some pretty serious commitments when it comes to doing better for the Earth.
Panasonic is aiming to work towards clean energy homes and creating technology that creates and stores their own energy versus products of today that use energy and emit emissions. To do this, they are working with solar and fuel cell technology to revolutionize different home technologies used in everyday life.
Panasonic will also promote related businesses that are also committed to sustainability methods similar to their own. For example, they have moved most of their companies to LEED-certified buildings. One of their buildings is located next to the famous Penn-Station in Newark, NJ to allow employees to reduce their travel emissions when coming to work.
Panasonic has outline it's future global plans called ‘Panasonic Environment Vision 2050’. This plan details many ways that the company will be promoting sustainability and battle societal changes with many years to come. This is now a huge part of their mission and they are encouraging others to be inspired by outlining their plan in detail and working with those focused on sustainability.
4. Seventh Generation
Cleaning products are one of the most environmentally destructive products that you can buy. Primarily because the chemicals in these products are washed down the drain and even the best water filtering software can’t take them out.
Seventh Generation believes that products with plant-based ingredients are a great sustainable way to supply cleaning products to society. Seventh Generation not only aims to reduce their production emissions, but they’ve also created green products that you can use in your house that don’t have all of those harmful, environmentally destructive chemicals in them. They also work hard to use recyclable packing for all of their cleaning supplies and other products.
Seventh Generation has a LONG list of certifications when it comes to being eco-friendly; some of which include the Rainforest Alliance, Certified B-Corp, FSC, and plenty more.
Seventh Generation works primarily with bio-based and plant-based products to provide the best ingredients for the environment and your home!
The decisions we make today should result in a sustainable world
For Patagonia, sustainability starts with its employees. They make sure that everyone that comes to work wants to help the planet. This helps build a culture of sustainable values. Patagonia also works tirelessly to become more eco-friendly and educate society on the effects of environmental pollution.
All of their cottons is certified organic by the GOTS as well as their other fabrics being bluesign® certified. Most of their clothing materials are made from recycled fabrics that include polyester, nylon, and even wool. In addition, Patagonia is a part of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and donates 1% of their profits to For The Planet.
Patagonia not only uses recycled materials and certified cotton, but they also make sure that their products are built to last and even encourage buyers to shop sustainably!
6. New Belgium Brewery
New Belgium Brewery is a popular beer brewer located in Colorado and North Carolina. They are one of the most well-known breweries in the world when it comes to being sustainable and eco-friendly.
As an employee-owned company, they work to reduce greenhouse gases. Both of New Belgium’s Breweries are LEED-Certified. They also help to reduce their suppliers emissions in addition to their own.
New Belgium Brewery is also active advocates of climate policies with membership in BICEP (Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy).
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When looking at Nike’s sustainability page, the first thing you see is a quote about their mission: “We’re committed to creating a better, more sustainable future for our people, planet, and communities through the power of sport.” 75% of Nike shoes or apparel contain at least some sort of recyclable material. For such a huge, worldwide company, this is a great stride when it comes to worldwide sustainability.
Nike has worked to use a simpler dye process that creates less wastewater, diverts more than 95% of its waste from landfills, and has designed new shoe cushions that use recyclable materials.
Adidas is another sportswear brand that we should keep our eyes on when it comes to sustainability. They even have a dedicated team with a mission to create a sustainable brand and company. They have so many different approaches when it comes to making the world a better place and that they've won multiple awards for their efforts. Adidas defines its sustainability efforts in six parts divided between ‘product’ and ‘people.' They are working towards reducing water usage, innovating products and materials, conserving energy, empowering people, improving health, and inspiring action. They are doing amazing things already including the viral pair of shoes made out of floating ocean debris.
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But, why should YOU move towards promoting your sustainable business?
There are two reasons why...
You have the power to choose more eco-friendly and energy-efficient processes every day. There are so many innovative software and technologies that make going green and sustainable a breeze. Changes that are as simple as auditing the energy use in your office and challenging yourselves to reduce it, is a great way to do some good for the environment. YOUR BUSINESS can help change the world and provide future generations a better Earth than we were born into.
People are changing. Not only are we doing this for mother Earth, but people young and old are also starting to become more eco-friendly in their daily lives. Today's customers are looking for companies with sustainable practices. People are consciously purchasing products they know isn’t harming the environment.
But before you go ahead and promote your sustainable and eco-friendly business, you have to put forth the practices that make you just that!
Just keep swimming - Don't give up, we are here to help!
How can we help?
Hire JOLT_ to promote your +IMPACT
The professional team at JOLT_ will work to create an image that everyone will love while supporting the movement for sustainability. We have an incredible team of graphic designers, videographers, artists, and copywriters that have the environment at the center of their work. We are the perfect place to start with marketing your eco-friendly company.
Let’s face it - Sustainability is Sexy - and we want you to be a part of this movement!
Join JOLT_ as we sprint towards a more sustainable future.
By Brianna De Feo for JOLT_