Now more than ever, the general and informed public of this world are looking to CEOs and business leaders to take the lead on important issues over governments. Given that we at Rolland have the utmost respect for organizations who prioritize environmental sustainability in business, and in the spirit of this opportunity for businesses to step forward on important environmental issues, here are some examples of business leaders whom we admire for doing just that:
Tesla Motors – Leading the debate on renewable energy
Renewable energy has been a key consumer interest in conversations relating to environmental sustainability over the past few years. Other than their strong support for electric vehicle policy internationally, another example of Tesla’s stepping into and leading the public debate surrounding renewable energy came in the aftermath of Puerto Rico’s disastrous Hurricane Maria in September of 2017, when Elon Musk announced on October 25th, 2017 that Tesla would be restoring electricity to San Juan’s Children’s hospital using solar panels. This sent a clear message to consumers and to the international community that businesses should be just as responsible as governments for making commitments to social causes and to the environment.
The Coca-Cola Company – Advocating for sustainability causes, around the globe
Coca Cola has recently come in 5th place in an April 2018 global report by Influencemap, which ranks businesses and scores them on their support of climate policies aligned with the Paris Agreement of 2016. Not only have Coca Cola long been a key advocate of water efficiency with their water-use efficiency project, but internationally, Coca Cola have publicly supported initiatives such as Clean Coasts Week in Ireland, an organized litter cleanup of beaches along Ireland’s coast.
Unilever – Rethinking packaging to halve their environmental footprint
Unilever’s CEO Paul Polman is an example of a global business leader who has stepped forward on the environment, by pursuing sustainability as a strategic business priority for many years. Unilever’s recent commitment to sustainable operations has included projections to halve the company’s environmental footprint by 2030. Unilever have recently made a big change that many have pushed for in the food packaging space – announcing the switch to plastic-free, fully biodegradable tea bags (rather than using polypropylene as a sealant) for their PG tips teabags. On April 21st 2018 PG tips’ Twitter account officially announced that they had now produced over 100 million fully biodegradable tea bags.
McDonalds – Progressing toward a sustainable supply chain
In March of 2018, McDonald's announced their plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions related to their operations by 36% by 2030. Through these actions, it is estimated that they will prevent 150 million metric tons of greenhouse gases from being released into the atmosphere; this would have the same impact as removing 32 million cars from the road. The 2018 announcement followed other such initiatives over the past few years: in 2012 McDonald’s committed to eliminating deforestation from its beef supply chain, as well as to sourcing 85% of beef, as well as its coffee, palm oil and fish from sustainable suppliers by 2020. Furthermore, by the end of 2018, McDonalds will no longer carry cups made from foam plastic.
In the same vein as the above-mentioned sustainable business leaders which Rolland is inspired by, many of our customers (including Patagonia, Cirque du Soleil and Colorado State University) have inspired others with their commitments to the environment. For more on the responsible purchasing practices and policies of Rolland’s “Green Champions”, have a look at our Responsible Paper Procurement publication.