Shaping a Greener Future: 8 Companies Leading the Way in Sustainable Practices


Many companies are taking charge of sustainability initiatives, whether it’s renewable energy or reducing waste by incorporating technology. Consumers and governments acknowledge the ownership businesses must take to reduce their impact. 

Authentic eco-conscious efforts and greenwashing are happening simultaneously, leaving climate advocates questioning which companies lead in transparent, ethical, sustainable practices.

Discover what it looks like to be a sustainable leader in myriad industries. The way corporate eco-friendly practices present themselves is exclusive to every company’s niche and green priorities.

1. Patagonia

Patagonia is one of the most well-known corporate names in sustainability, from activewear to outdoor necessities. It’s part of 1% for the Planet — an alliance committed to contributing 1% of its profits to grassroots environmentalism. The business has evaluated its entire supply chain for greener improvements, spreading the word about environmental awareness.

Patagonia is honest concerning where it needs to change. Enterprises dedicated to environmental recovery publicize their shortcomings as touchpoints for future goals and normalizing transparency.

For example, it admits to using petroleum-based materials and natural gas for its products. Patagonia aims to use recycled fabrics until it can find a practical alternative. However, it’s advocating for California — where its headquarters are — to decrease state reliance on fossil fuels and move to renewable energy. Vulnerability in sustainability is essential for progress because it sets a standard of communication with other companies and consumers.

2. C. F. Martin & Co.

C. F. Martin & Co. make guitars and ukuleles, showing how instruments and their components can be responsibly harvested and sourced. The company has been around since 1833, refusing to let its age dictate its ability to adapt to modern environmental needs.

It began its official sustainability journey a while back, focusing on finding alternative woods, recycling materials and protecting cultural opportunities for its workers and regions they collaborate with. Since then, C. F. Martin & Co. has:

  • Reforested thousands of trees in Pennsylvania and Nicaragua
  • Exchanged plastic stretch wrap for reusable canvas
  • Become Forest Stewardship Council certified
  • Partnered to create a string recycling program

3. Pela

Pela is a tech accessories company that makes tabletop composters, sunglasses and more. After seeing the ocean’s horrific concentration of plastic pollution, the founder aimed to reduce plastic waste caused by phone cases. The compostable phone case was born to achieve Pela’s goal of preventing one billion pounds of plastic waste generation. During the journey, it obtained a Climate Neutral and B Corp certification, and became a member of 1% for the Planet.

Its revolutionary Pela 360 program was part of its roadmap for more prominent eco-consciousness. Instead of simply providing compostable phone cases, it encourages circular economic behaviors by asking customers to return old products for upcycling. It gives more agency to customers who may feel lost in responsibly disposing of their items after they’re finished using them.

4. Ecosia

Ecosia is a nonprofit Google alternative that plants trees earned with ad revenue. It’s planted over 180 million trees as of August 2023 in over 35 countries, including Senegal, Indonesia and France. The organization focuses on native trees to protect biodiversity and replenish habitats instead of planting fast-growing saplings — a common practice for many carbon-offsetting programs that are guilty of greenwashing.

It publishes monthly financial reports as a stand against greenwashing, providing insight for users so they can see how Ecosia earned and spent their funds. Its primary spending categories are trees, green investments, taxes, marketing and operational costs. 

It has also earned B Corp certification and contributed to the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration project.

5. Who Gives a Crap

Who Gives a Crap is a paper products seller specializing in toilet paper, tissues and paper towels. Disposable paper products are usually laced with chemicals like scents and wrapped in unnecessary amounts of plastic. The paper waste pollutes waterways and habitats, which is what Who Gives a Crap wanted to change. Its plastic-free products are made of eco-friendly materials like ethically sourced bamboo from small family farms. Plus, they offer carbon-neutral shipping.

It is B Corp certified for environmental impact. The accolades are well-deserved, as 50% of its profits go to building toilets and providing access to clean water to those who need it the most. Engaging in public good projects is the best lateral environmental move companies can take after instilling their own green operations.

6. MorningStar Farms

MorningStar Farms is a meat-alternative provider, serving everything from vegetarian pepperoni pizza bites to vegan chorizo crumbles. MorningStar already has a leg up on other food and beverage companies, as plant-based alternatives have a significantly lower carbon footprint than meat-based food production. It assesses its impact using a life cycle analysis by comparing the effect of its products against meat versions and publishes the report for transparency.

It embraces the winning qualities of a sustainable company — always being willing to learn and grow. Their website shows a roadmap of their progress and their recent developments toward greater sustainability, including:

  • Using renewable energy to power its operations.
  • Reducing shipping case weight for more efficient transportation.
  • Becoming a member of How2Recycle for transparent recycling labeling and instructions.
  • Partnering with soy farmers to incorporate more protein using 70% less water.

7. New Belgium Brewing Company

New Belgium is a wind-powered U.S. craft brewer from Colorado, catering to every beer style and palette in the nation. Its green practices are diverse and any gaps are explained in the extensive educational resources on their site. New Belgium also has high recycling standards, explaining the logic behind cans versus bottles and relaying consumer responsibility in waste disposal.

Its beer Fat Tire is North America’s first certified carbon-neutral beer, inspiring better brewing methods worldwide. New Belgium even published a toolkit for other companies to use, promoting collaboration and reducing gatekeeping in the industry. Its environmental commitment extends to social and governance practices, as it was also the first brewery to get a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index.

8. Aspiration

The finance industry is known for abusing the planet, especially with the rise of cryptocurrency. Fintech company Aspiration desired to change the landscape by offering a unique banking experience. It has optional monthly fees asking customers to pay what they believe is fair and a portion of the proceeds go to environmental charities. Purchases work similarly, where it can do round-ups and donate spare cents to climate change investments.

Currently, it’s working on innovating carbon removal solutions. It has a vast portfolio of ecological projects but employs advanced technology for accurate data collection and reporting for some of the most helpful analytics in the industry. Aspiration has peer-reviewed experts who examine findings for publishing in academic journals and government reports.

What it Means to Be a Sustainable Company


Every eco-friendly company looks different. A fashion company will try other tactics than a construction enterprise, but they are all in it for the same reason. The power is in collaboration. Businesses that seek advice on obtaining environmentally aware certifications and audits encourage compliance and regulatory standards to catch up to a corporate desire to help the world heal.

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