A natural merger.Corporations and environmentalists used to be sworn enemies determined or irreconcilable enemies.
See also: Sworn . But today they're putting their heads together - to the earth's benefit.
Not long ago the idea of corporations and environmental organizations "working together" would have been considered an oxymoron. Not so anymore. These days businesses have an increasing role in conservation efforts, and they're pairing with environmental organizations to get the job done.
What's different? For one thing, many Americans think it's a good idea. Sixty-nine percent of respondents to a recent survey by Roper Starch starch, white, odorless, tasteless, carbohydrate powder. It plays a vital role in the biochemistry of both plants and animals and has important commercial uses. Worldwide, said the most effective way for corporations to improve the environment is to work with an environmental group. And 72 percent of survey respondents said the best way for enviros to achieve their goals is to work with corporations.
"The traditional model of environmental groups forcing corporations to make environmental changes doesn't work," says Dr. David Rockland, Roper Starch Worldwide's senior vice president. "Americans see a shared role for both types of organizations in a partnership toward environmental improvement."
The increased public demand for enviro/business partnerships has led to programs like AMERICAN FORESTS' Global ReLeaf, which helps corporations support community-based tree-planting efforts across the country. Businesses as varied as Eddie Bauer Eddie Bauer (NASDAQ: EBHI) is a clothing store chain. Headquartered in Bellevue, Washington, and a subsidiary of Eddie Bauer Holdings (formerly Spiegel, Inc.), the company was founded in Seattle in 1920 as "Eddie Bauer's Sport Shop" by its namesake, Eddie Bauer (1899 – , Triangle Pacific Flooring Group, and Earthbound earth·bound also earth-bound
1. Fastened in or to the soil: earthbound roots.
a. Farms work with AMERICAN FORESTS American Forests is a nonprofit conservation organization that promotes healthy forests and urban tree planting.
The organization was established in 1875 as the American Forestry Association, by physician/horticulturist John Aston Warder and a group of like-minded citizens to help restore damaged ecosystems. Although their motivations vary, all these businesses share one trait trait (trat)
1. any genetically determined characteristic; also, the condition prevailing in the heterozygous state of a recessive disorder, as the sickle cell trait.
2. a distinctive behavior pattern. : a desire to "give back" to the land. They have a responsibility to restore the earth because it provides the resources everyone depends on, these business leaders say.
The forest is "inherent in the nature of our products." says Gary Raven raven, common name for the largest member of the family Corvidae (crow family), ranging throughout the arctic and temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. The raven, Corvus corax, is a glossy black scavenging bird about 26 in. , director of environmental affairs for Triangle Pacific Flooring Group, the nation's leading manufacturer and marketer of quality hardwood hardwood: see wood.
Timber obtained from broad-leaved, flower-bearing trees. Hardwood trees are deciduous trees, except in the warmest regions. floors. "It's not only a matter of economic survival. If you have any conscience whatsoever, you understand your responsibility."
Myra Goodman, executive director of Earthbound Farms, the country's largest producer of packaged organic foods, says that company's environmental work strives "to be consistent with our philosophy of treading treading
a part of a restlessness syndrome or a neurosis in ruminants or horses; the patient repeatedly changes weight from one limb to the opposite of the pair, lifting the hoof slightly at each change; the action looks as though the patient is treading grapes to make wine. lightly on the planet."
This year Earthbound Farms planted trees to offset its carbon emissions. Using AMERICAN FORESTS' on-line carbon calculator, Goodman and her staff determined the company needed to plant 6,747 trees to offset emissions from the use of electricity, oil, natural gas, trash, recycling recycling, the process of recovering and reusing waste products—from household use, manufacturing, agriculture, and business—and thereby reducing their burden on the environment. , and packaging. Next year Goodman hopes to include the cost of transporting products to the consumer as well. The trees will be put toward the goal of planting 20 million trees for the millennium.
"A big business impacts the environment in a number of ways, and I wish that wasn't so," Goodman says. ". . .It seemed like a wonderful opportunity to try and counterbalance some of the negative impacts of our operations."
Eddie Bauer's add-a-dollar/plant-a-tree program may be the model for enviro/corporate partnerships. Customers can add a dollar to their purchases: each dollar plants one tree in a Global ReLeaf Forest. In three years Eddie Bauer customers have planted more
than 2 million trees.
"We, like other companies, have a responsibility to give something back to the environment," Eddie Bauer president Rick Fersch explains. Because the company is headquartered in the Pacific Northwest, it's only natural for them to plant trees. "Conservation and appreciation of nature resonate res·o·nate
v. res·o·nat·ed, res·o·nat·ing, res·o·nates
1. To exhibit or produce resonance or resonant effects.
2. strongly here. A partnership with AMERICAN FORESTS for Global ReLeaf is a perfect fit for us."
Supporting environmental causes may have another advantage as well: higher profit margins. A recent study of 243 Fortune 500 companies found that businesses with superior environmental performance experienced higher returns on their investment. And the Roper Starch survey found customers are more likely to shop businesses that take "specific environmental actions" such as recycling or giving money to wildlife and land conservation programs. Still, most businesses have no way of tracking the impact on sales of such activities. "A direct addition to our bottom line is intangible, but in our opinion [environmental activity] absolutely affects it," Triangle Pacific's Raven says. "How that translates you can't really decipher Same as decrypt. . It would be nice if we could."
Involvement in environmental activities also helps build credibility with other businesses. Triangle Pacific and Eddie Bauer buy hundreds of Global ReLeaf seedlings as gifts for clients during the holidays. The gifts, they say, help show the company's commitment to environmental causes. "We want them to understand we're a good corporate citizen," Raven says.
The response from more than 100 business partners was "overwhelming" when Eddie Bauer planted 25 trees for each and sent personalized per·son·al·ize
tr.v. per·son·al·ized, per·son·al·iz·ing, per·son·al·iz·es
1. To take (a general remark or characterization) in a personal manner.
2. To attribute human or personal qualities to; personify. tree certificates with one-year memberships to AMERICAN FORESTS last December, Eddie Bauer's Fersch says.
But many corporations say their reason for working on behalf of environmental causes is simple: they do it because it's the right thing to do.
"It's a matter of choice," Raven says. "Our sustainable forestry initiatives The Sustainable Forestry Initiative is a program to certify forests to insure they are being managed in a sustainable manner.
SFI was started in 1994 by members of the American Forest and Paper Association. help us to sustain our prosperity - and a legacy for our children."
Janine E. Guglielmino is associate editor of American Forests.