It is hard to identify what the most sustainable company is, since there are lot of issues involved in a company’s decision making process when it decides to go green. Take Whole Foods market as an example. While some people say that the company has successfully sustained its business by offering best quality products and services to customers and getting involved in wild life protection, others argue that Whole Foods has not been sustainable enough for the company does not really support local suppliers. Because sustainablity is not only about environmental protection but also about social and economic concern, companies usually feel hard to balance the tripple bottom lines – society, people, and economy.
Another reason that makes identifying the most sustainable company so hard is because of globalization. Greening a company by saving water, managing waste, and taking care of local people can be seen as a way to sustain a business. However, because this is a global issue which involves many countries and the people in those countries, green companies face serious challenges in controlling the source of their water supply and managing their wastes and people effectively. The issues in one country may effect the whole operation system of a green company if it depends on that country’s resources.
Green companies like WholeFoods, Apple’s, and Toyota are on their way to sustain their businesses, but they all have their own issues to deal with. Remember that companies are usually very careful when calling themselves green or sustaianble, for they may face severe lawsuilts if there is anything happen in their production process.
In conclusion, no company is the best sustainable one, because lot of issues get involved in the greening process and because, even it wants to be the most sustainable, a company would not have the courage to advertise itself because of the fear of liabilities.
I agree with the post above, each company is trying to be sustainable within the realms of its own business model.
Based on my research, I found Patagonia, Nike, Interface, GAP to be quite sustainable, doing their bit for the employees, outsourced labor and environment. Any small or large company can be sustainable as long as they care for their people and environment. As long as people understand and know what they are doing and how is it impacting the other side and the final side, now and in the long-run.
Sustainability is remotely like a quality control mechanism because it takes much longer to show its positive effects. And only a handful of corporations (like the ones I mentioned above) realized this more than a decade ago. As more and more companies introduce tactics to go green and do more than just charity, they will gain visibility on the horizon.
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