Don’t Tread on Me

This Earth Day, stop and smell the opportunity.


In celebration of Earth Day (April 22), I thought Off the CUffers would enjoy a glimpse into the initiatives of companies that are thinking green in order to make green. “The corporate sustainability movement has a simple premise: Saving the planet can save big bucks,” reports Businessweek in the April 4 article “Sustainability Meets the Profit Motive.” “Executives are trying to realize meaningful cost savings by coming up with innovative ways to go easier on the environment.”

The companies realizing meaningful cost savings aren’t just the usual suspects you find headquartered in the Pacific Northwest. For example:

  • Walmart has reduced its packaging costs by switching to plastic that is corn-based rather than oil-based. The move has enabled the giant retailer to reduce its packaging costs by 13% and save more than $195,000 per year.
  • Frito-Lay, which is a division of PepsiCo, is switching to all-electric box trucks for its fleets in places such as California and Texas. The move is expected to cut 500,000 gallons of diesel fuel from the company’s bottom line, saving an estimated $1.5 million a year while reducing greenhouse emissions. Pepsi is also exploring ways to turn the steam that escapes from its factories into a source of water for equipment cleaning, product washing, and vegetation irrigation.
  • In an effort to reduce approximately 30 pounds of petroleum-based foam in its vehicles, Ford Motor Company is partnering with Ecovative Design to use foam made from mushroom roots, seed husks, and other “agricultural waste” in dashboards, bumpers, and door panels, reports POPSCI.

Of course, your credit union might not be too concerned with packaging costs or bumpers, but that doesn’t mean there are no cost savings or green opportunities in your future. Addison Avenue Federal Credit Union encourages members to learn about hybrid cars, sun power, and energy efficient window coverings (and offers complementary loan programs). Gesa Credit Union supports its bottom line by embracing LEED Green Building Council-certified facilities.

For those credit unions considering a branch expansion strategy in the near future, think about turning your expanded coverage into an ecological-friendly footprint. For more on green building, check out the Businessweek article,“Five Myths About Sustainability.” Then check out the free Callahan Webinar, Go Green! Protect the Environment and Your Bottom Line for easy ideas on how to be more green to make more green.



April 14, 2011



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