Big businesses leading the way on sustainability

Big businesses leading the way on sustainability

Big businesses leading the way on sustainability

The importance of energy efficiency and sustainability for today's businesses has been highlighted by recent announcements from two large multinational corporations.

Environmental concerns are high on the agenda for companies of all sizes, with even the smallest firms able to adopt positive practices such as using eco-friendly service providers and reducing energy consumption in the office.


The scale of what can be achieved has been demonstrated by Nestle Waters, the world's largest bottled water company, which recently announced that its UK operations are now powered entirely by renewable energy.

Nestle Waters' UK manufacturing base at Buxton, Derbyshire, is one of the most efficient factories in Europe, the organisation claimed.

It derives all of its power from renewable sources like wind, solar and hydroelectricity.

The company recently announced that its sustainability efforts were also supporting the local community, with 30 per cent of the Buxton bottling plant's electricity supplied by Derbyshire-based Derwent Hydroelectric Power.

Charlie Roberts, the Buxton factory manager, said: "Bottled water is widely recognised as having the lowest environment footprint of all packaged beverages and this initiative brings us closer to zero environmental impact and sees bottled water production actually powered by water."

Federico Sarzi Braga, head of Nestle Waters in the UK, told BusinessGreen: "Buxton has been built with sustainability at its heart, and this is a further step in our sustainability journey."

The factory, which bottles Buxton Natural Mineral Water and Nestle Pure Life spring water, opened in 2013 and introduced new production lines that enabled a 25 per cent reduction in the amount of plastic used in packaging.

It also uses recycled heat and has been accredited for sending zero waste to landfill.

Mr Braga revealed that the company's next goal is to reduce the environmental impact of its packaging.

Another large corporation that has demonstrated the importance of sustainability as a feature of modern business is Timberland, which has introduced a new set of environmental standards across all of its product categories.

By setting green targets for all of its product ranges - rather than specific collections - the outdoor footwear and clothing maker claimed it was "taking our commitment to making products responsibly to new heights".

"With this increased focus, we aim to reduce the environmental impact of virtually every product we make - across footwear, apparel and accessories," said Stewart Whitney, president of the company.

"Over time, as our business continues to grow, this has the power to make a big difference."

Timberland has set itself a number of goals to achieve by 2020, one of which is for all of its footwear to include at least one material containing recycled, organic or renewable content.

The company is also aiming to plant ten million trees - cumulatively since 2001 - and to derive half of the energy used in its facilities from renewable sources like on-site solar and wind.

Smaller businesses looking to do their bit for the environment could look into the option of solar power installations or conduct an audit to see where their energy efficiency could be improved.


Posted by William Rodriguez

Image courtesy of iStock/NicoElNino