Go Green: 15 Companies You Can Feel Good About Supporting

What's the definition of a green company? Depends on who you ask. Some people think it's a company that focuses on reducing its energy use and carbon footprint. Others might not consider a company green unless all its products are nontoxic and sustainably sourced. And still others believe brands must engage in fair trade practices in order to be considered green. To come up with our list of 16 companies you can feel good about supporting, we took a look at all these factors -- and more (17 Photos)

Jennifer Steil on Mar 13, 2012 at 5:57PM

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Go Green: 15 Companies You Can Feel Good About Supporting

Courtesy of Univelever

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Unilever

Unilever, parent company to more than 400 brands including Breyers, Ben & Jerry’s, Bertolli, Dove, Comfort, Lipton, Knorr, Sunlight, Surf, Vaseline, SlimFast and Lifebuoy, is at the top of several green companies lists. “It’s perhaps the greenest of them all,” says Mike Bellamente, project director for the nonprofit Climate Counts. “They embody what we like to see as a corporate leader on climate leadership.” Unilever was the top-ranked company across 16 industry sectors in the Climate Counts 2011 company scorecard, earning 88 out of 100 points. Through their Sustainable Living Plan, which incorporates greenhouse gas reduction metrics into all facets of their business model, Unilever strives to prove that “environmentalism isn’t just for hippies anymore.”

The company’s commitment to green principles is evident in the products they manufacture. Take their shampoos, for example. Not only does Unilever make sure they’re non-toxic, the packaging department uses only easily recyclable plastic or plant-based biodegradable materials. As a result, over the last 15 years, Unilever has more than halved the greenhouse gas emissions produced by its factories. And then there’s the focus on how customers interact with Unilever products. Their “Turn off the Tap” campaign encourages people to shut off the faucet while they soap up, saving the energy needed to heat and pump water.

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