Kathryn Johnson
I have a degree in Communications/ Public Relations from California State University, Fullerton. I am the Communications Director for Credentrust Software and the Communications Specialist for our own company, Global Entertainment Services.
Kathryn Johnson has written 5 articles for SB Informer.
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Is Your Favorite Company on the Green List?

Going green in today’s competitive but ecology minded corporate world leads to a light environmental footstep

Kathryn Johnson

April 10, 2007

4.0/5.0 (5 votes total)

Gone are the days of corporate executive’s flaunting their profits and practices in front of polluting plants, now the world watches as executives at major companies are at the forefront of the fight against pollution, unsafe water practices and preserving the rainforests for future generations.

Major corporations today are hiring more employee’s that believe in the rainforest, safe drinking water, clean oceans and lower emissions for automobiles. Today it’s not enough to talk about being ecology minded, corporations actions must speak for themselves. Companies must talk the talk and walk the walk for ecology. Big or small, businesses are turning to the environment as a cause worth fighting, for all future generations.

Small or large, companies are making a statement about the global environment and what it will take to preserve this world for future generations. Anthony Cochran and Jesse Johnson from Q Collection in Manhattan followed their heart and their passions by creating a furniture, fabric and accessories company that is better for the consumer, the home and the environment. Their goal is the elimination of toxic chemicals, carcinogens and the leading components of poor indoor air quality. After much research they have come up with ways to create high-end quality merchandise that is environmentally friendly. They believe in promoting sustainable products which allows the following benefits; a reduction of acid rain, improved indoor and outdoor air quality, waste reduction, conservation of energy and increased social equity. Using these as long term goals their first concern is with the health impacts of indoor air quality. With the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring formaldehyde as cancer causing, the Q Collection has eliminated polyurethane and formaldehyde from their furniture to prevent further environmental damage. Cochran and Johnson believe in using only sustainable products such as harvested wood, organic cotton and 100% natural biodegradable materials.

“In summary, Q Collection is simply the most thoughtful designed line of home furnishings on the market,” said Cochran, as stated on the website. “We have successfully addressed the most pressing health and environmental issues in home furnishings and will continue to push further.”

Another small company trying to make a difference is Acorn Studios in Edmonton, Canada. Created by Nicola Harper, the company specializes in using old computer parts for design ware. After five years as a Waste Management Engineer, she followed her passion for recycling and created a company that utilizes her desire to save the earth along with her creativity for normal products. She creates necklaces out of computer wires, cuff links out of computer keys, clocks out of CD’s and circuit boards, keyboard necklaces and magnets, circuit board earrings and keyboard rings and key chains. Besides these unique items, Harper practices ecology and recycling by utilizing seven different recycling bins in the studio. She uses shredded magazines and junk mail for packing materials, and their worm bins make rich compost out of organic waste and confidential papers. Harper also uses natural lighting, low energy light bulbs and operates the craft equipment by hand. All of these measures add up to an owner dedicated to preserving planet Earth for generations to come.

“I’ve always been passionate about recycling and designing products from different reclaimed materials is fun!” says Harper. “We enjoy sharing our knowledge in recycling and composting by getting our hands dirty. We teach kids how to recycle paper and by setting up many home composting units in our community.” 

Moving on to the big guys, such as Nike, Chiquita, Kraft foods, and HSBC, these companies are all contributing to global consciousness in various ways. These companies, whether they started early with their global efforts or have recently joined the growing ranks of environmentally conscience corporations, all have specific ideas and programs they use to motivate their employees and consumers into action. Today’s small or large businesses are coming to the aid of Mother Nature while world governments analyze the validity of global warming.

Keeping companies heading in the right direction within a globally conscience environment is the Rainforest Alliance. The Rainforest Alliance works with corporate consumers to source certified products like paper, coffee and building supplies for use in their offices. The Rainforest Alliance works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior, according to company papers. Based in New York with offices throughout the United States and worldwide, the Alliance sets standards for large and small businesses and corporations for sustainability.

“The Rainforest Alliance has worked with several companies that have made big strides in recent years in making more environmentally and socially responsible choices,” said Gretchen Ruethling, Communications Coordinator. “Three noteworthy examples of such companies are Kraft, Chiquita and Domtar.”

Kraft is helping to expand the global market for sustainability produced coffee, benefiting an ever increasing number of farm communities. Kraft has partnered with the Rainforest Alliance to train coffee farmers and assist them to reach certification standards. Beyond its own program, Kraft is supporting efforts of the coffee industry to adopt industry-wide standards of sustainability. Kraft is one of the world’s leading coffee companies. In 2005, Kraft introduced 100% certified lines of popular brands such as Kenco, Jacques Vabre, Gevalia and Splendid in the United Kingdom, France, Sweden and Italy. Kraft buys more certified coffee than it needs for the packages sporting the Rainforest Alliance seal and blends the extra beans into other well-known brands such as Maxwell House, Jacobs and Carte Noire.

“This is the most extensive commitment to sustainable coffee ever made; Kraft is setting the bar for the rest of the coffee sector and proving that sustainability can be integrated into the way a company does business,” explained Rainforest Alliance Chief of Agriculture, Chris Wille.

Starting in 1992, Chiquita Brand International, a giant in the banana industry, has been reinventing farms, one farm at a time. Guided by the Rainforest Alliance and its partners, Chiquita spent two years researching and communicating with scientist and industry representatives to create nine guiding principals that promote environmental sustainability and social equity on banana farms. Some of the principals include zero tolerance for deforestation, protection of wildlife, conserving water and soil and healthy working conditions which includes the right to unionize at these farms. Chiquita goes even further with the ideas of recycling and reusing by recycling close to 8o percent of the plastic bags and twine used by company farms. The company has also reforested more than 2,500 acres with almost one million trees and bushes used as buffers.

“Everything has changed thanks to the Rainforest Alliance program. We’ve cut agrochemical use,” said Raul Gomez, a farm manager in Costa Rica, who has worked with Chiquita for 15 years. “We’ve planted hundreds of trees along roads and streams. We’re promoting environmental education. And it’s all for the good of humanity, so that we can leave something for our children.”

Through their relationship with the Rainforest Alliance, Goldman Sachs, another environmental conscience company, sourced 100% FSC-certified wood inputs on their new financial tower in New York City. To help corporations make these sorts of sustainable choices, the Rainforest Alliance has introduced the new Sustainable Business Forum, with Goldman as well as Pfizer as founding members. This corporate membership program helps corporations to adopt sustainable business practices, promote their progress to stakeholders and build supply chains for sustainable products. The Rainforest Alliance and its corporate partners try to maximize their common goals of a healthier environment, an end to global warming and an end to clear-cutting the forests.      

Nike, while still recovering from a lawsuit involving working conditions in underdeveloped countries, realizes that as a global company they are being judged by a global audience. Nike understands their impact on the world around them and tries to live by their slogan, leave no trace, which by industry standards is a difficult task. Trying to make the environment better for future generations, Nike has installed programs that reach out to local communities and helps reuse and reduce waste from their products. One such program is the Nike Reuse-A-Shoe, which was started in 1993. Nike collects both post-consumer and Nike shoes that are returned due to defects, and separates these shoes into three main sections – upper fabrics, mid-sole foam and outsole rubber – and grinds it up for various purposes. The outsoles and recycled manufacturing material is made into baseball and soccer fields, golf products, weight room flooring and running tracks. The midsoles are used in synthetic basketball courts, tennis courts and playground surfacing. Bouncing back from bad press is difficult for any company, but being a global company like Nike, the tasks are daunting but do able, with environmental programs like those listed above.

“Corporate responsibility challenges us to take a good, hard look at our business model and understand our impact on the world around us,” said Mark Parker and Charlie Denson, Co-Presidents of Nike. As stated in the Strategic Direction page, “For our company as a whole, we’ve set three strategic goals: To effect positive, systemic change in working conditions within the footwear, apparel and equipment industries; to create innovative and sustainable products; and to use sport as a tool for positive social change and campaign to turn sport and physical activity into a fundamental right for every young person.”

The next large corporation trying to make an environmental difference is HSBC. They are currently working with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Chinese government to help bring life back to the Yangtze River. The Yangtze Programme, created in April 2005, is developing ways to use the river in sustainable ways. Focusing on three key areas of drinking water, flood mitigation and protection of vulnerable areas, this program directly helps the 400 million people living along the water banks and basin. Another company project is tackling one of the biggest global problems, the worlds changing climates. To help diminish global warming, HSBC is the first major bank to go carbon neutral. The three main aspects to achieve this goal is, energy efficiency, green electricity and offsetting the remaining carbon dioxide emissions using allowances or credits.

Finally, another small company that has been paperless since 1999 is This is a small private company that believes the future is online and has since removed all paper applications from their financial network of lenders, agents and investors nationwide. They believe in preserving the environment by completely removing any paperwork that is involved in the loan process. To prove this point their new press kits will be on CD and will include the company logo on biodegradable paper that includes seeds which can be easily planted anywhere.

Going green is hitting the main stream and small and large companies are leading the way to a cleaner healthier Mother Earth. Businesses around the world are realizing that the actions they take today will affect generations for years to come. Companies worldwide must lead the fight for a greener healthier world so that others may find peace and solace within its waters and lands.

Based in Costa Mesa, Calif.,, is America’s largest online small business Financial network.  The network helps small businesses collect and store all business information inside a secure online VAULT; and helps create a digital loan package, along with insurance and investor application packages. Formed in 1999, utilizes advanced search engine technology, and numerous other online tools for communication and connecting in real time with a nationwide network of loans, insurance and capital sources for a faster, easier, and lower cost experience. “Go Green, Go” 


Add comment Add comment (Comments: 1)  
Title: What is your Green Corporate Mission? April 10, 2007
Comment by Chandra Kishore

Indeed, it is now not even enough to be on the Green list. The question is "What is your Green Corporate Mission?". At we are trying to bring together companies who have incorporated Green Goals in their mission... Let us know if you have one!

Chandra Kishore
Green Corporate Network



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