Sustainability in a small office is one thing, but when big companies apply eco-friendly practices to their entire operation, great things can be achieved. Across the world, some of the biggest names in technology and innovation are leading the way in corporate sustainability.
But what does that mean?
In the corporate world, environmentally friendly practices always tie back to reducing waste, negating carbon footprints, and where possible, contributing to improving the environment (for instance, funding regeneration projects).
These five companies below are making great progress, and there’s a lot that smaller businesses can take away from what they’re already doing.
Google is one of the biggest organisations in the world, and you probably make use of their technology daily, even if you’re not aware of it. But did you know that Google has been carbon neutral since 2007? What’s more, they aim to be completely carbon-free by 2030.
The tech giant aims to do this through extremely savvy office design and construction, green energy practices, and educating its employees on the importance of sustainability in the workplace. Google also plans to utilise its technology to make the rest of the world greener. For example, they now provide information on carbon emissions through Google Flights, more environmentally friendly routes and travel options on Google Maps, and more efficient (smaller carbon footprint) cloud software.
When it comes to physical workspaces, Google has been at the forefront of green office design for some time. They also have stringent recycling and reuse policies, such as measuring food waste and ensuring it is minimal, as well as growing their food, and using herds of goats to trim the grass!
It might be tough to believe that a company famous for plastic toys is leading the way on sustainability… but Lego is! The Danish company has a list of lofty goals when it comes to being more environmentally friendly, and they are making serious progress.
Since 1963, Lego has been manufacturing its products from acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, also known as ABS. This was the ideal material for Lego blocks, thanks to its strength and ease of moulding. However, recently, Lego has been heavily investing in plant-based plastics, determined to replace their current materials with more environmentally friendly ones. This research is also invaluable for the wider world, as their findings will no doubt be applied to a multitude of products and manufacturing processes.
But it’s not all about the famous building blocks. In fact, Lego’s operations are 100% balanced by renewable energy, meaning they utilise solar power in their factories, have changed lighting systems to more efficient LED lighting, use innovative cooling systems, and ensure that their offices and workplaces are recycling and repurposing everything they can. 91% of Lego’s waste is recycled, and they’re aiming to make that figure 100% in the very near future.
You can read more about Lego’s sustainability goals here.
Another tech giant, Microsoft is making waves in the world of sustainability, especially through the production of new Microsoft products.
One of the most common types of waste we come across in Sydney rubbish removal operations is e-waste. That is computers, tablets, printers… essentially any electronic device. These devices can be difficult to recycle, thanks to the potentially hazardous chemicals and materials that make up their operating parts.
However, Microsoft has processes in place to ensure that e-waste is properly recycled, meaning less harmful (and expensive) materials end up in landfills, where they can seriously harm the environment. In the end, that makes newer products more affordable for consumers and lessens the impact of manufacturing new computers on the environment.
It’s also worth noting that Microsoft’s offices are optimised for a positive environmental impact. The company ensures that green office design is a feature of all their workplaces. Moreover, they have put an emphasis on waste management, making sure that food waste is always recycled and paper waste is minimised.
There are even cleaning robots rolling through the halls in Microsoft’s new Sydney office!
Ikea is a beacon of Scandinavian innovation and has been for many years; we all know it’s tough to go past their affordable, yet stylish products. However, in recent years, they’ve also considerably upped their game when it comes to sustainability and looking after the environment.
Ikea is aiming to ensure that all of its products are made of 100% renewable or recycled materials by 2030, meaning that they will be a truly circular business. Furthermore, they’ve minimised battery waste for customers and employees by using and supplying rechargeable batteries only. As we’ve come to expect from these corporations, Ikea’s offices are also optimised for eco-friendly practices, minimal waste, and the use of recycled products.
Apple claims that ‘The world won’t wait, and neither will we’. And just like its main rivals in Google and Microsoft, Apple is doing plenty to ensure it promotes sustainability throughout all of its products and workplaces.
Back in July 2020, Apple pledged to ensure that all of its operations and products would be carbon neutral by 2030. They’ve made great strides in this regard; all of its locations throughout 43 countries are powered by renewable energy.
Similar to Microsoft, Apple is also making big moves to ensure that their products are recycled properly, thereby negating the impact of commercial waste and e-waste on the environment. They’re also investing heavily in a range of projects aimed at neutralising carbon emissions around the world.
Last of all, Apple offices and workspaces are some of the most innovative in the corporate world. They utilise the latest technology, green office design techniques, and waste management and reduction processes. Any paper products are carefully recycled, though we doubt there’s much paper to be found at all!
So, what can we take away from this?
It’s important that businesses of all sizes, and not just tech giants, are doing all they can to minimise their impact on the environment. For businesses in Sydney, that means ensuring you recycle, reuse and repurpose where possible. To make sure you’re keeping on top of this, work with a company like Sydney City Rubbish.