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5 surprising ways big businesses are getting sustainable

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30
September

Suit with green leaf in pocket

While we’re all doing our bit to help the environment – turning off lightbulbs, cycling to work, cutting out red meat – the big brands of the world are also pitching in to help save our planet. And you won’t believe what they’re up to.

Lots of the top worldwide brands are doing their best to use and generate renewable energy to help create a sustainable future. Many brands sign RDA agreements, where the total energy they purchase is matched by an energy provider who produces the same amount in renewable energy.

But some take it a step further. We took a look at some of big names and what surprising things they’re doing to go green.

1. Apple Energy: As green as they come

It may not come as much of surprise that technology giant Apple are at the forefront of driving a sustainable future. They have already earned themselves a ‘green’ status, declaring that 93% of their worldwide energy usage comes from renewables. But that’s not enough for them.

In keeping with its reputation as always staying a step ahead of the rest, Apple has started up its own enterprise in green energy. Already generating its own solar powered renewable energy, Apple is looking to eventually sell this to to its own suppliers, making it a 100% green company, or new customers in the market.

So we might be soon looking at the new iPhone made by Apple… and powered by Apple.

2. Natwest: Best farm forward

Natwest is also backing green energy – but not in the way you might think. Ever heard of anaerobic digestion? It’s the breakdown of biodegradable matter by bacteria – and it could help power your car. The process produces energy in the form of biogas, which can be used as fuel.

By providing the necessary funding and investing in agricultural businesses to install a green energy plant in their farm, Natwest is making a huge contribution to this method of green energy production. Anaerobic digestion also produces nutrients which can be used a fertiliser, so farms are recycling their waste to make better use of their organic resources.

Biofuel on farm with cattle

3. Coca-Cola: From red to green

As one of the most well-known brands in the world, Coca Cola certainly have a responsibility to lead the way towards an eco-friendlier future. Their problem? It’s their packaging. Coca Cola claims that 1.9 billion servings of their drinks are dished out every day. That’s a lot of cans, and a lot of plastic bottles.

To help reduce their carbon footprint, Coca Cola has developed PlantBottle packaging. It is the first-ever fully recyclable plastic drinks bottle – part of it is even made from plants. Now more than 35 billion PlantBottle packages have been distributed in nearly 40 countries across the world, helping Coca-Cola save more than 36 million gallons of gas.

4. Lego: Building a better future 

Each year, Lego makes around 60 billion of its iconic colourful Lego pieces and uses around 6,000 tons of plastic every year. That’s a large carbon footprint. With such huge quantities, even a tiny change in the carbon footprint of their product could make a massive environmental impact.

That’s why the toy company plans to invest £95 million over the next 15 years researching and developing ways to make their plastic bricks better for our planet. In the meantime, they have already reduced the size of their packaging, and in 2014 they ended a 50-year partnership with Shell as a result of the oil company’s drilling in the Arctic.

Lego characters

5. Arsenal’s Mathieu Flamini: Green in red

And now for the most unexpected of all… The Arsenal midfielder Mathieu Flamini is the man behind a new type of green energy that could completely revolutionise the energy industry as we know it.

Flamini recently revealed that he is the partner of an Italian biochemical company who’ve developed a new means of producing biomass energy on an industrial scale, using levulinic acid. Eventually it could be used for everything from cosmetics and plastics to biofuels - a market which is worth an estimated £20 billion. Ground-breaking science and premier league football - he’s onto a winner.

How to follow the trend 

If you’re interested in generating your own energy, why not apply for our FiT renewable energy tariff? If you have any low carbon energy devices like solar panels on your roof or wind turbines in your back garden, you can get paid for the electricity you generate. Take a look and apply today.

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