Many large and small companies are becoming more eco sensitive and this week the Sundance Channel takes a look at three that are certainly making a difference.

In the first segment we travel to Mountain View, California, where we get to meet Robyn Beavers the Director Of Environmental Programs for Google. Robyn explains, “Green doesn’t have to be an add on, it can be part of your corporate culture”.

Interestingly enough the ‘greening’ is throughout the company. In the cafeteria is organic food that when possible is locally grown. ‘Cafe 150’ is so named because the overwhelming majority of product comes from within 150 miles, as opposed to the average supermarket with an average of 10 times that distance, 1500 miles. Google goes far beyond food when it goes to being ‘Green’. Google’s ambition is to have a neutral carbon footprint.

An absolutely outstanding feature of Google is their Google Earth application, a seamless joining of satellite images, maps, and topographical information. The Google Earth development team have partnered with over 300 non profit environmental groups to help them. Maybe one of the most environmentally unfriendly industries is the Mountain Top  removal for coal in Virginia. A huge eyesore for residents, a huge environmental impact, and few seen to care.

They also provide provide Shuttle Buses powered by bio-diesel, a fleet of hybrid cars available for staff to use if they need to pop out at lunchtime or go to an off site meeting, and discount plans for employees that wish to own a hybrid. Nice company, I wonder if they are hiring? I am sure they are in need of a reviewer!

Down the coast is Los Angeles, a city that is not normally associated with ‘green’. but there is one car manufacturer that is changing that. Mark Templin the VP and General Manage of Lexus in Torrance explains that luxury and sustainability can run hand in hand, in fact Lexus are planning a car that is 95% recyclable. South Campus, the headquarters building is itself a sustainable building, recycle is the key word.

Segment three involves an interesting partnership that crosses continents. Edun is a clothing company founded by Bono of U2 fame, and Ali Hewson. The raw materials and labor come from Africa, the big difference between Edun and the other manufacturers is that their company is not based on slave labor.

You can catch Big Ideas For A Small Planet – Business on Tuesday June/10 at 9pm on the Sundance Channel.

Simon Barrett

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