After the Paris Agreement last year, sustainability has been an increasingly common topic of discussion for businesses. Global warming is real, yet people worry that not enough is being done about it. Concerns about the environment have led the march towards environmentally friendly business, and as it turns out, sustainability efforts affect more than just the environment: they bring more business. About 75 percent of millennials are willing to pay more for products that come from businesses that are making efforts towards sustainability, and 87 percent of employees are willing to take a pay cut if it means their company makes socially-conscious choices.
Sustainability is no longer just good for the environment; now it’s good for a business’s finances. The tech industry is starting to take note of this cultural shift, and many technology brands focus their marketing and resources on sustainability. Some even go as far as to become a regenerative company, one that not only creates net zero carbon emissions and uses clean energy, but one that actively creates positive results by producing excess clean energy resources.
Yet there’s a lot of talk about sustainability, and the facts aren’t always clear. Which companies really are sustainable, and which companies just talk about it? Here are the top most sustainable tech brands in 2016:
One of the biggest household names in tech has done an admirable job of transitioning to sustainability. In Greenpeace’s 2015 report, “Clicking Clean: A Guide to Building the Clean Internet,” Greenpeace notes that “Apple continues to lead the charge in the race to build a green internet, and has significantly increased its impact as a change agent driving renewable energy in the past year.” Earning top marks, Apple has been transparent about its sustainability efforts. Apple’s data centers run on entirely clean energy, and in fact, 93 percent of the whole company’s energy consumption comes from renewable sources. Whether you like Apple products or not, the tech giant has relentlessly increased its sustainability efforts while the company continues to scale, and so is one of the most sustainable brands in 2016.
Impressive not for its transparency or its clean energy resources, Toptal earns a spot on this list because the startup is changing the very way businesses approach structure and organization. Toptal, a network of freelance developers and designers, represents the peak of the freelance marketplace and remote work. Why does this make Toptal sustainable? Toptal doesn’t have an office anywhere in the world, and all of its employees work remotely. Telecommuting can potentially save up to 14 billion kilowatt-hours of energy each year, and if people worked remotely even half the time, 119 billion miles of highway driving would be cut immediately, making a huge environmental impact. Toptal brands itself as an elite freelance network and is proof that not only does the freelance model work, but you don’t even need an office to run a big business.
Sustainability can mean several things, and to Salesforce, a customer success platform, it means not only increasing clean energy consumption and overall efficiency, but ensuring that their workforce is as sustainable as it can be. Salesforce recently signed two wind farm agreements, the first of which will go live this December, and once they are both running, they will produce more energy than Salesforce used in all of 2015. As for sustainability in the workplace, Salesforce is an industry leader in pushing for gender equality. Starting with Women’s Surge, an initiative that focused on including more women in meetings and promoting women to higher positions, Salesforce later conducted an internal audit and spent $3 million dollars increasing women’s salaries to create equal pay between men and women in the company. Salesforce was the first major tech company to achieve equal pay, and the company is on its way to total gender equality and to using 100 percent renewable energy, making it one of the most sustainable brands in the tech world.
What other tech brands are successfully pursuing sustainability in 2016? Leave a comment below!