Eco-Friendly Companies

“I admire Former President Jimmy Carter for his contributions to making the world a better place to live and his involvement in promoting peace throughout the world. In a very unselfish and non-political way he has used his stature as a former President to become directly involved in critical global issues. He was recognized for his contributions in promoting peace initiatives around the world and was a recipient of the Nobel peace prize.”

– Doug Melvin, Boise Idaho

We admire eco-friendly companies that emphasize the importance of living a greener, sustainable lifestyle. While many old-school corporations continue to receive negative press for their extravagant, wasteful practices, environmentally friendly business leaders support alternative energy solutions and continue to break ground with innovative ideas to save the environment, without sacrificing profits. Eco-friendly companies are attracting more and more customers and investors, while working hard to promote cleaning up and preserving our environment. It’s a trend that’s catching on with investors: venture capital firms invested $958 million in renewable energy companies in the first half of 2006 alone.

Doug Melvin of Boise, Idaho talks about eco-friendly companies and green CEOs to admire and Sam Goldstein of Seattle, Washington shares greener living tips from environmentally friendly businesses and discusses working with and investing in green companies.

Eco-Friendly Companies Run by Greener CEOs by Doug Melvin of Boise, Idaho

There are a number of eco-friendly companies being run by greener CEOs that I admire. Bob Bechtold of Harbec Plastics in Ontario, NY has made his manufacturing plant one of the most energy-efficient in the country. Bechtold uses a power station to generate energy and heat, and 95% of the eco-friendly company’s electricity is generated at the plant. Bechtold further installed skylights to cut down on electricity, recycles plastic byproducts from the plant and the owner of the environmentally friendly business drives biodiesel and electric fleet vehicles. I admire the ingenuity of leaders like Bechtold and these other green companies, too:

Eco-Friendly Company Kickstarts with a Revelation
John Plaza was a commercial pilot flying freight when he had an epiphany that led him to start an eco-friendly company. The future owner of Seattle Biodiesel realized that on just one flight, he was using enough fuel to power a car for more than 40 years! The environmentally friendly Seattle Biodiesel business provides alternative automobile fuel made from vegetable oil. Today people who use biodiesel to power their cars have to go to restaurants and cafeterias asking for recycled oil handouts. The eco-friendly company hopes to someday make the fuel cheap and available everywhere, ultimately replace traditional fuel.

This Environmentally Friendly Business Won’t Pull the Wool over Your Eyes
The business of making socks has become much more environmentally friendly with Teko Socks and company CEO Jim Heiden. The eco-friendly company uses recycled polyester, organic cotton, minimal shipping supplies and sustainable wind electricity to manufacture socks for runners and cyclists. Green living tips from the company’s mission statement include maintaining a balance of economic, environmental and social values, or “People, Planet and Profit.”

Eco-Friendly Technology Companies Band Together to Save the Environment
The eco-friendly member companies of TechNet, a political network of CEOs and senior executives from leading technology companies, presented research to Congress and President Bush that supported furthering the efforts of environmentally friendly business. TechNet’s research insists that the U.S. needs to rely less on foreign oil and more on energy efficient technologies. The environmentally friendly business plan also outlines an agenda that would benefit eco-friendly companies. TechNet’s plan calls for increasing incentives to create new energy technologies. The plan also requests more incentives for consumers that would spur more interest in doing business with environmentally friendly companies. TechNet’s green living tips parallel individual efforts by CEOs of large and small companies.

Green Living Tips: Inspiring Employees to Go Green by Sam Goldstein of Seattle, Washington

Green living tips used by environmentally friendly businesses in the workplace also help inspire company employees to live a more sustainable lifestyle. I admire people who take greener living to heart, incorporating ideas they learn at work into their home life, too. Our favorite tips from some of the world’s most eco-friendly companies follow:

  1. Becoming less reliant on air conditioning and heat is an easy green living tip you can use at home. Many green workplaces use fans instead of air conditioning, close the blinds to keep heat out and turn the a/c down during the summer months and the heat down during off-hours.
  2. Eco-friendly companies recycle, reuse and reduce. Homeowners can implement the same green living tips by using both sides of printer paper and turning scrap paper into a replacement for post-it notes.
  3. Green living tips for home might mean reusing the same water glass throughout the day. Environmentally friendly businesses are eliminating Styrofoam cups and encouraging the use of washable coffee mugs instead.
  4. Eco-friendly companies support car pools and provide facilities and trails for cyclists and walkers. Green living tips at home include walking or taking the bus instead of driving when possible.
  5. Environmentally friendly businesses use fluorescent light bulbs to cut down on energy consumption. Use fluorescent bulbs at home to save money and to help conserve energy.

Working with and Investing in Eco-Friendly Companies
Investing in eco-friendly companies and working with environmentally friendly businesses helps support their efforts- and can make you money. I admire the new crop of investment advisors that specialize in the socially conscious, investing money only in companies that have strong environmental performance trends over long periods of time. Likewise, the newest breed of savvy entrepreneurs that we admire has sustainable business practices that include only working with other companies who also support a greener workplace.

We thank our contributors:

  • Doug Melvin of Boise, Idaho
  • Sam Goldstein of Seattle, Washington

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