It has taken a number of decades, but today it is unusual to find a large or even mid-cap company that doesn’t have a sustainability policy, CSR department or environmental manager.
Sustainability has for the most part become a standard part of doing business well.
But for some companies, going the extra sustainability mile is the order of business.
Here are 5 companies that are leading the pack in innovating for a better, more sustainable future.
Thanks to innovationcompany.co.uk for their input and insight on these companies.
Tesla and its inspirational founder and CEO, Elon Musk, are leading the sustainable innovation charge within the automotive industry. Tesla’s electric cars continue to push the boundaries in transport technology and energy storage. Since launching the Model S in 2015, Tesla has captured the consumer’s imagination. There is no doubt that Musk’s company has accelerated the take-up of electric cars, and driven competitors like Toyota and BMW to answer the clarion call with their own electric car innovations. Tesla’s mission to provide sustainable energy transport on a mass-scale is nothing short of epic, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for the company and industry at large.
Under the incredible leadership of CEO Paul Polman, Unilever have redefined themselves as the company to follow in terms of sustainability innovation. Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan is the core component of the company’s strategy and has been described by the Economist as ‘the most comprehensive strategy of enlightened capitalism of any global firm’. Since launching the Plan in 2010 Unilever’s shares have risen a meteoric 40%. The Plan covers all aspects of the business, but is especially unique in the way it incorporates the customer into the sustainability journey. Unilever’s goals are big and inspirational, and we are excited to watch them reach each milestone along the way!
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Yes, you guessed it. Sanergy provides sanitation services that turn waste into energy! But unlike many of current solutions that require costly centralized infrastructure, Sanergy has worked out a way to decentralise the process through local franchises and a network of toilet facilities. The company is focused on providing affordable sanitation and energy to African slums and aims to help 2.6 billion people who lack access to either. How’s that for a mission!
The outdoor gear retailer has always had sustainability baked into their DNA. They are the ballsy company that ran an Ad for Black Friday in the New York Times that read ‘Don’t Buy This Jacket‘, encouraging shoppers to think twice before they buy things. Today Patagonia continue to innovate and push the boundaries. The most recent project, $20 Million & Charge, is an attempt to empower and fund start-ups who are working on sustainable solutions in the areas of food, energy, water, clothing and waste. With this new programme Patagonia are redefining themselves as not only a custodian for sustainable retail, but an investor in sustainability innovation. We look forward to seeing what start-ups emerge from Patagonia’s investment.
Kingfisher, the home improvement company that owns great brands like B&Q, has set some hefty sustainability goals. The company is on a mission to become net positive – doing more than reducing its negative impact – by 2050. By becoming net positive Kingfisher will amongst other things, become carbon positive, waste nothing and add wealth! A tall order but one that they are confident they will meet. The company has already set 50 sustainability innovation targets for 2020. Kingfisher’s journey is definitely one to watch!