Companies With a Conscience: America's Top 5 Sustainable Businesses

Sustainable Business
Photo credit Zlikovec/Dreamstime
By Small Business Pulse and 1Thing

Businesses across the globe are implementing all sorts of best practices, policies, and efforts to maximize sustainability and become more eco-friendly. Using renewable energy, recycling or reusing products, and conserving water are all ways companies of all sizes can help protect the earth.

Corporate Knights recently revealed its annual list of the 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World for 2019. The new ranking marks the 15th report for the Canadian financial information company and magazine.

According to Forbes, financial and ecological information is collected from Bloomberg, Thompson Reuters, and other sources and is reviewed by an in-house team of Corporate Knight researchers and data scientists, as well as 50 outside data collectors. Ranking factors include a company’s carbon and waste reduction performance, gender diversity among leadership, revenues derived from clean products and overall sustainability.

Topping the 2018 list is Chr. Hansen, a global bioscience company located in Denmark. Several U.S. companies made the Global 100 list. We’ve ranked the top five in ascending order below, with their Corporate Knights ranking position noted beside the company name.

HP Inc. (39)
IT giant HP Inc. was notably the first company to publish its full carbon and water footprint. Like other companies who placed on Corporate Knights ranking, HP strives to follow best practices which promote protecting the planet. The California-headquartered organization has also set 2025 sustainability goals, which include reducing harmful greenhouse gases by 35 percent as well as reducing water consumption across global operations by 15 percent.

Ecolab Inc. (32)
Ecolab services a wide array of businesses in the food processing, hospitality, healthcare, and industrial markets to name a few. Headquartered in Saint Paul, Minnesota, Ecolab is a world leader in water, hygiene, and energy technologies and service. The company helps promote a cleaner, healthier world for nearly 3 million global customer locations. Just a few of their amazing impacts include conserving over 171 billion gallons of water, safely producing 44 percent of the world’s milk supply, and cleaning 6 million hospital and long-term patient care rooms.

Analog Devices, Inc. (17)
Headquartered in Massachusetts, Analog Devices is dedicated to helping solve the world’s toughest engineering challenges with “the design and manufacturing of analog, mixed signal and DSP integrated circuits.” The company has been committed to operating in a way that reduces negative impacts on the environment and conserves resources including water, energy, and materials. ADI set environmental goals back in 2006 and remains focused on achieving even bigger sustainable goals over a decade later. By 2020, ADI plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, water usage and electricity usage by another 2.5 percent, along with other goals.

Cisco Systems, Inc. (14)
Cisco Systems is a California-based networking hardware company. Cisco is deeply dedicated to sustainable business practices. The company is striving to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by increasing its use of renewable energy. They plan to eliminate one million tons of greenhouse gases from their supply chain by 2020. Other sustainable efforts include teaming with Dimension Data to stop Rhino poaching and encouraging customers to return unused products for reuse and refurbishment instead of throwing them away.

McCormick & Company (13)
McCormick & Company has been leading the flavor industry for more than 125 years. The Maryland-based company sells spices, sauces, dressings and more to more than 150 countries in the world. McCormick is dedicated to increasing sustainability practices across their product portfolio in multiple areas. In 2017, the organization set 2025 sustainable goals which include a 25 percent reduction in greenhouse gases, a 25 percent reduction in packaging, a 20 percent reduction in water usage and an 80 percent reduction of solid waste.