Greenopia’s 2010 Top Green Lists: How do Your Favorite Brands Compare to the Rest?
Going green is becoming a very important thing these days; but how do you know what choices are really green? Does your choice of airline follow strict environmental practices? How safe are the ingredients in your health and beauty products? What about your favorite retail chain—what have they done to green their business?
Trying to read through every single company’s history, media coverage, press releases and so forth, in search of any hint of environmental practice or policy, can be extremely tedious and time consuming. Some don’t even post it on their websites. Others make you go through a maze of links before you stumble upon the right section. Luckily, there is a place where you can find pretty decent ratings on a lot of businesses. Greenopia has created a green list for all retailers, ranging from grocery stores to airlines, wineries to oil companies, colleges to coffee, and a lot more.
To give you a peak at how some categories were rated:
Virgin tops the list with their new, fuel efficient fleets, use of biofuels and recycling programs, plus they offer their customers green food options and the ability to offset their carbon footprint.
US Airways, however, is at the bottom of the pile. Their fleet is about 12 years old, they have no intention (as of yet) to use biofuels, recycling or carbon footprint offset options are unknown and they do not do any environmental reporting whatsoever.
Colleges and Universities
If you’re looking for a green school, University of California: Santa Barbara (UCSB) is the way to go. They have 6 LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) buildings, with 20 more on the way. They have an awesome recycling and composting program, employs some use of solar energy, offers organic and local food options, has over 80 alternative fuel vehicles and great water conservation practices.
Auburn University loses this time around, although they do have some environmental practices in place. They do offer organic and local food options, have buses that run on biodiesel and at least one LEED building. Other than that, there is much to be desired.
Le Pain Quuotidien tops this list (though I can’t say I’ve ever heard of them before). They use organic and local ingredients, use a number of green building and design techniques (such as reclaimed fixtures and efficient appliances), composts food waste and uses spent food oil for biodiesel.
Arby’s holds the spot at the bottom of the list (Burger King is next in line for the chopping block). The good news is they have installed solar water heaters at 33 of their restaurants. The bad news is they haven’t done anything else even remotely green or environmental.
BP (Beyond Petroleum) really has gone above and beyond in this case. They publish extremely detailed sustainability reports and decrease their emissions per unit of production. They support and are currently pursuing the development of solar, wind, hydrogen and biofuel technologies; and they are very progressive in their stance on climate change.
Citgo is running on the cheap, both at their stations and on this list. They have attempted to reduce emissions and cut down on air pollution by installing scrubbers at some of their plants; and they are a major producer of ethanol. However, they lack in environmental reporting, never really acknowledge how much oil they’ve spilled, and are rather elusive on the amount of waste and water consumed.
Dell.com is the place to go if you want to shop ‘til you drop. One of the greenest computer companies in the world, many of their products are EPEAT certified and many of their buildings are seeking LEED approval. They give buyers the option to offset transport emissions, have one of the best take-back programs around, and will recycle any of their own products for free. They also recycle some other brands for a small fee. Plus, they use a vast amount of green energy in their work.
Ahold grocery stores are one chain you do not want to get a hold of. While they do publish an environmental report and offer a small selection of organic and local products, they could use quite a bit of work on their recycling, supply chains, and so forth.
These are merely a glimpse of what the Greenopia list holds. To check out the rest of these lists and the other 9 lists, head over to this site to find out exactly how your favorite brands rate on Greenopia’s 2010 Green Brand Ratings Lists.
By Heidi Marshall