Posts tagged ‘responsible business’

Climate Counts: What’s Your Shopper Score?

There are many factors to consider when choosing between two products. Which is more expensive? Which will last longer? Which will be more beneficial for the environment? And while we may do our best to support local business, there are some products that may not be readily available at the local level, such a plane tickets or electronics.  Climate Counts may help you decide what big business deserves your business.

Climate Counts is a non-profit that uses 22 criteria to measure if companies are “stuck, starting, or striding” towards actions combating climate change. They’ve evaluated over 150 companies over 16 sectors, making sure you can choose to support a business who believes in the same things you do. The company has even developed an iPhone app to make sure you can make the most informed decision, even if you’ve already left the house.

Climate Counts is also using social media as a vital tool in informing consumers, as well as making business sit up and take notice. Climate Counts encourages Twitter users to support companies who are seeking to minimize their environmental impact or to call attention to those who are not. Their Facebook page allows you to score your own shopping cart. You may already be supporting companies who are making a difference!

While many companies are concerned with the bottom line, others are starting to look towards the triple bottom line: people, profit, and the planet. Purchasing an item may seem like a simple transaction. However, the items we buy endorse the actions of the companies who create these products. Many big businesses use fancy ad copy and appealing packaging to attract shoppers. Climate Counts holds these companies to higher standards, so you can too.

Happy shopping!

– GN

Is asking Facebook to unfriend coal too much?

Sign on. Share a witty status update. Poke a friend. Pollute the air?

A new Greenpeace campaign is committed to drawing awareness to Facebook’s reliance on non-renewable sources.  The campaign is centered around the idea that the company’s data center in Prineville, Oregon will depend partially on energy derived from coal. The center has not yet been completed, but Facebook has already reacted to the Greenpeace campaign.

The company states that the location for their new facility was carefully chosen so that they could rely on the climate to keep the center cool, and not be forced to install energy-guzzling mechanical chillers. They claim the building will be LEED Gold certified, and will rely on recycled water to power an evaporative cooling system. In addressing the issue of coal, Facebook claims to be at the mercy of their power provider. They say that: “electrons powering that data center are produced by the various sources (e.g. hydro, natural gas, coal, geothermal, nuclear, etc.) the provider uses in proportions similar to the mix of sources used.”

The power provider for the Oregon facility,Pacific Power, has an energy mix that is weighted slightly more toward coal than the national average,” according to their official Greenpeace response. Facebook claims that Pacific Power’s long-term plan will move away from coal.

The company has long claimed to be a proud supporter of sustainability, but many are still not impressed with the measures they plan to take in Prineville.

The Greenpeace initiative is just one of many drawing attention to the energy usage of major companies, and is a good example of consumer awareness playing an important role in how businesses power up.  Increasingly, citizens are asking companies to consider the triple bottom line: people, profit, and the planet. By calling out to companies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, we can ensure that they do their part to limit their negative impact on the environment.

Join the Greenpeace Facebook group.

Read the list of the Enivornmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Top 50 Green Power Partnership Businesses.


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