Earth Day was founded to educate people on environmental issues. Fast forward 51 years later to a world climbing out of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we recently witnessed lower global emissions, people evolving personal choices and habits that benefit the planet, and a new appreciation for green spaces and local production.
Despite these signs of progress, Earth Day 2021 takes on new urgency and a renewed call to action to address climate change and save our planet.
I’m encouraged to see big corporations making the pledge to do more to advance the sustainability agenda – finding ways to not only be profitable as shareholders demand, but also to be socially and environmentally responsible as consumers expect.
Corporations aren’t simply making sustainability an initiative, but also are increasingly making it part and parcel of their business infrastructure, operations, and growth strategy. We’re proud to be working alongside some of those who have made the commitment to a more sustainable future.
INNOVATING FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE: At FedEx, its roots in sustainability run deep. For decades the company has set its mission on connecting the world in responsible and resourceful ways. In 2021, FedEx underscored its commitment by launching a goal to achieve carbon-neutral operations by 2040. Through a $2 billion investment, the company is focusing on three key areas: vehicle electrification, sustainable energy, and carbon sequestration, including helping to establish the Yale Center for Natural Carbon Capture to accelerate carbon removal strategies that have global impact. It’s a bold and innovative move for a world leader in e-commerce, logistics and transportation.
BEING A GOOD NEIGHBOR: Meijer, the Michigan-based retailer with more than 250 supercenters and grocery stores across the Midwest, was an early adopter of green initiatives. In fact, Fred Meijer, who led the company for more than 40 years, spoke at the very first Earth Day celebration in Grand Rapids, Mich. in 1970 and vowed “to leave the world in a little better shape than when I entered it.” Today, the family-owned company is building on its longstanding commitment to the environment by increasing sustainability initiatives through its entire operation while inviting its customers and team members to be part of the solution. Meijer walks the walk by addressing carbon and waste reduction, recycling, local and sustainable product offerings, responsible growth and more, plus a hyper-local focus on positively impacting its local Great Lakes communities.
TRANSFORMING COMMUNITIES AND THE ENERGY LANDSCAPE: Ørsted, a former coal-intensive energy company, has transformed into the global leader in the transition to clean energy. Beyond using wind, solar and energy storage to power communities in the U.S. and transform the energy landscape, Ørsted also is sparking growth and recovery through domestic, well-paying job creation; community investment; strategic partnerships; and workforce and economic development. Ørsted is an excellent steward of the environment and also is driving environmental justice initiatives to assist communities around the U.S. in meaningful ways.
CHAMPIONING PEOPLE TO BE WELL AND THRIVE: The Clorox Company has long been committed to purpose-driven growth. Building on its historical Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) progress, Clorox has elevated and embedded ESG into its core business strategy. Clorox is focused on improving people’s health and well-being, fighting climate change and eliminating plastic and other waste, and enabling people to be the best version of themselves. With trusted brands that are in nine out of 10 U.S. homes, Clorox has a unique opportunity to help current and future generations thrive as the company continues integrating environmental and social sustainability into every part of its business.
In these ways and more, the time is now for businesses to lead the charge this Earth Day and every day to create a sustainable future in which we all thrive.
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