Case Studies by Country
A furniture manufacturer which took part in a project to develop a range of 'sustainable' office furniture. A life cycle assessment was used to optimize materials, designs and manufacturing processes.
A product labeling scheme set up by the Austrian government in 1991, which embraces more than 30 different categories of consumer goods.
A Canadian trucking company which has put in place a package of measures to reduce its fuel consumption. As a result, both carbon dioxide emissions and operating costs have been cut substantially.
A thriving detergent manufacturing business originally set up by a concerned mother who was unable to find a laundry detergent that did not irritate her son’s sensitive skin.
A government programme that makes use of off-balance sheet financing to pay for energy-saving measures in federal facilities.
An alliance of around 20 companies and NGOs, headed by Suncor Energy and the Pembina Institute for Appropriate Development, set up to lobby for tax reforms favouring renewable energy in Canada.
A plant producing lime products on the Fraser River in British Columbia which took advantage of new, stricter pollution standards to review its operations, with the intention of reducing costs and improving efficiency.
A paper and pulp mill in British Columbia which used total cost assessment to justify an expensive upgrade of its main power boiler.
A non-profit hydroponics operation that produces vegetables and herbs using equipment seized in drugs raids, and which provides unemployed people with the skills they need to find full-time employment in the horticulture and greenhouse industries. Profits are channelled into crime prevention and youth employment projects.
A company with stores in Toronto and Winnipeg that specializes in 'sustainable' products
The world’s largest integrated nickel mining operation, and a major consumer of electricity. By investing in more efficient plant and equipment, it succeeded in cutting its power consumption significantly.
A manufacturer of vehicle refuelling equipment which has capitalized on the current market interest in 'clean' fuels
An informal grouping of Canadian NGOs and businesses set up to debate and share information on environmental policy issues.
A subsidiary of Canadian Occidental Petroleum, engaged in the manufacture, marketing and distribution of industrial chemicals. The company undertook a series of pollution prevention measures which reduced chlorine releases into a local river to practically zero.
A vinyl recycling company that collects waste vinyl and generates revenue by selling it on as a raw material. Recycled vinyl can replace, or be blended with, virgin material in many applications, including the automotive industry.
A Canadian gold-mining organization with operations around the world, which toook on the challenge of producing a single sustainability report, 'It's About Our Future', for the whole organization.
A papermill in British Columbia which has established several pollution prevention and energy efficiency initiatives. The company believes its investment has given it a competitive advantage by reducing production costs.
Interview with an investment executive at Scotia McLeod, which offers environmental and ethical investment products.
A non-profit organization generating much-needed income for families in developing countries by providing marketing and product development assistance for craft products.
A power company which relies heavily on coal, and which recently announced plans to reduce its Canadian net carbon dioxide emissions to zero
Canada's largest credit union, whose commitment to the triple bottom line involves supporting a wide variety of projects in the local community
A Chilean textile mill producing dyed yarn and fabric, which identified several ‘clean production’ opportunities, including improved water management, energy efficiency, chemical conservation, and reduced solid waste. All these measures paid for themselves within two years.
Perhaps the most celebrated example of industrial ecology, which came about through a process of slow evolution. A web of material and energy exchanges between various industries has slowly grown up in a small industrial zone near Copenhagen.
An multinational manufacturer of industrial enzymes and pharmaceuticals which has been producing corporate environmental reports since 1993. In 2000, it was one of four winners of the European Environmental Reporting Awards.
An international catalogue shopping group which has a policy of demanding socially responsible employment practices on the part of its suppliers in developing countries. It became the first company to market carpets carrying the 'Rugmark' seal.
A large papermill in Düsseldorf which has committed itself to continuously improve its environmental performance. It received EMAS accreditation in 1997, and its 24-page environmental statement includes a table outlining progress towards 13 specific objectives.
A food processing plant in India which has made use of a grant from local NGO Peddireddy to improve its efficiency and to reduce waste.
An Japanese engineering firm which has set up an 'eco-industrial park' in Fujisawa, designed to demonstrate the principle of zero emissions in manufacturing.
A brewery in Namibia was the first commercial application of the 'Zero Emissions Research Initiative'. Here, managers are striving to find applications for all liquid effluents and solid residues.
An international retailer of furniture and household goods, which has take steps to address both the social and the environmental impacts of its purchasing decisions
Volvo is a vehicle manufacturer developing safe, clean and efficient transport systems. The Volvo model is based on the Life-Cycle Assessment, the independently certified Environmental Product Declaration, and a company wide commitment to 'preventive environmental activities'.
STMicroelectronics, widely recognized as a leader in sustainable business practices, has set itself the ambitious goal of becoming 'carbon neutral' by the year 2010.
The UK's public service broadcaster, which in 2001 made its first foray into environmental reporting across its wide spectrum of activities
A waste management company which has secured EMAS accreditation for a large landfill site that it operates in the south-east of England.
A small, family-owned printing company in the UK which has won awards at European level for the quality of its sustainability reporting. It received EMAS accreditation in 1996, and ISO 14001 in 1997.
A firm of solicitors that achieved substantial cost savings by curbing its consumption of paper
A UK bank which offers individual and business customers the usual range of financial services, but with a strong emphasis on ethical and environmental safeguards
How NGOs and companies with an interest in forestry worked together to find solutions to the problem of deforestation, after government efforts had failed.
An index of 'socially responsible' companies, launched in July 2001. Four separate indexes are maintained, and companies are selected for inclusion according to three sustainability yardsticks.
One of the world’s largest chemical companies, which has itself set a series of tough health, safety and environment targets designed to deliver continuous improvement.
A UK-based retail group which at the end of 2001 announced plans to track the social and environmental performance of its 16 operating companies
A UK-based consultancy specializing in sustainable business practices, which has adopted the principles of the ICC Business Charter.
A scheme launched in 2001 which taxes car owners according to the carbon dioxide emissions of their vehicle.
A leading producer of electrical and electronic connectors, which has worked with the University of Wisconsin to develop a 'design for environment' training programme. This enables the company to apply the pollution prevention hierarchy in its product design work.
A steel mill which has exploited by-product synergy to find new uses for two major waste streams: furnace slag and automobile shredder residue.
A US-based fruit producer which forged a partnership with Rainforest Alliance, resulting in the 'Better Banana' project.
A major international fruit-growing firm which became the first agricultural operation in the world to achieve certification under SA 8000, the accreditation scheme for socially responsible companies.
A set of global indices launched in 1999 to track the performance of companies judged to be the leaders in sustainable development.
An international manufacturer of chemicals, hardware, fibres and electronics, whose commitment to sustainable growth is already delivering some reductions in the company's ecological footprint
An appliance manufacturer that has breached the traditional norms of recycling to scrutinize the 'value chain' throughout a product's lifecycle. The 'recycling value index' guides its decisions regarding the trade-off between higher production costs and greater recyclability.
A US bank with operations in more than 20 countries, which has endorsed both the CERES Principles and the UNEP Statement by Financial Institutions
One of the largest private utilities in the US, which has adopted environmental stewardship as a business principle. Applications have been found for a wide range of waste materials which hitherto had been regarded as worthless.
A research firm specializing in sustainable investment opportunities, which calculates individual sustainability ratings for companies using its 'EcoValue 21' analytical platform.
A US manufacturer of healthcare products which has adopted a systematic approach to improving the energy efficiency of its buildings.
A cattle farm and dairy in Nebraska which has used life-cycle assessment to identify measures for reducing its environmental impact
A joint carmaking venture created by Toyota and General Motors, which is recognized as an industry leader in quality management. The company’s goal is to build high quality products while ensuring that costs are the most competitive of any manufacturer.
A multinational working in 120 countries and employing more than 500,000 people, which has committed itself to the CERES principles as well as numerous more specific sustainability targets.
A family-owned manufacturer of household cleaning products, whose centralized environment and social policy has delivered a number of eco-efficiency successes.
An office equipment manufacturer which adopted the principles of total quality environmental management as part of its environmental management programme.
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