Oakland, Calif.-based Clorox Co. launched its Green Works natural cleaners in January 2008. Products include: Green Works Natural Cleaning Wipes and Green Works Natural Dishwashing Liquid, among others. The firm has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for using “environmentally preferable” chemistry.
Burt’s Bees has built its business on the foundation of Earth-friendly natural personal care since the company launched in 1989. Burt’s Bees has set wide-ranging green goals to achieve by 2020, including becoming carbon-free and operating on 100 percent renewable energy. Burt’s Bees lip balm and lip shimmer packaging labels are now shrink-wrap free.
TOM’S OF MAINE
Tom’s of Maine natural personal care products, which include toothpaste, mouthwash, floss, deodorant and soap, do not contain artificial sweeteners, preservatives, colors or flavors, and they are biodegradable. All products using natural ingredients are derived from plants and minerals. Employees recycle and use recyclable packaging, and the company also runs its production facility on wind power.
S.C. JOHNSON & SON
Since 2000, this Racine, Wisc.-based company, known for brands such as Shout, Windex, Ziploc and Glade has reduced greenhouse gas emissions from its largest factories by 42 percent. S.C. Johnson products, whether Windex glass cleaner or Scrubbing Bubbles bathroom cleaner, utilize raw materials that have been evaluated for health, safety and environmental impact.
Toyota’s line of eco-friendly cars includes the Prius, Camry Hybrid and Highlander Hybrid. The Prius is the most fuel-efficient gas car sold in the U.S., according to the EPA. In its most recent annual environmental report, Toyota said its hybrids have led to a reduction of “some 4.5 million tons of carbon dioxide, the most common greenhouse gas that causes global warming.”
PROCTER & GAMBLE
In 2008, P&G launched sustainability initiatives intended to cut its carbon footprint by as much as 40 percent by 2012, partly by reducing the size of its packaging. The company also said it planned to generate at least $20 billion in total sales of products with reduced environmental impact over the next five years. One of the products cited as an example is Tide Cold Water.
Launching plans for a “worldwide sustainable product index” last month, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. president and chief executive officer Mike Duke said consumers were demanding more accountability on how products affect the environment. Wal-Mart said the index — basically a scorecard for holding suppliers accountable — could lead to “higher quality and lower costs.”
Ikea banned plastic and paper bags in U.S. stores in October, giving customers a choice of its reusable Ikea blue bag for 59 cents, or an alternative reusable bag. Ikea has donated over $300,000 from disposable plastic bag sales to the nonprofit American Forests, and has contributed over $728,000 to plant trees in the U.S., enough to offset about 100,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions in the next 40 years.