Global businesses are out-performing the average U.S. private-sector company on corporate social responsibility and environmental initiatives, providing positive contributions to the U.S. communities in which they operate. GBA members are global leaders in environmental sustainability – they score an impressive 117.2 percent higher than the average U.S. company in terms of reducing their carbon footprint. These companies have launched highly successful programs that focus on the environment, such as DSM, Enel, Schneider Electric and T-Mobile’s sustainability efforts that are making a significant impact on local communities across the country.
DSM North America
Veramaris Sustainable Aquaculture
Experts agree on the importance of aquaculture to meet the soaring demand for healthy diets, and the need for fish protein is expected to surge as it has been for many years. However, demands on the marine ecosystem and the current practice of producing fish meal and fish oil are depleting the world’s oceans’ finite amount of smaller feeder fish that the entire marine food chain relies on.
As the demand for salmon has grown, many fish farmers have been forced to lower the amount of fish oil fed to aquaculture salmon because of the finite quantity of this natural resource. This has resulted in an overall decline in the omega-3 EPA and DHA levels in the salmon sold to consumers. One of the main reasons people are increasingly consuming more salmon is for the health benefits of its high levels of these two essential omega-3 fatty acids.
Through the Veramaris joint venture with Evonik, DSM developed a zero-waste production facility in Blair, Nebraska that produces a highly sustainable source of the two essential omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, from natural marine algae for animal nutrition. This algal oil for farmed fish food, which helps to conserve marine life and enables aquaculture to grow, also standardizes regulations of omega-3 fatty acids that consumers get from farmed fish. The innovative, sustainable solution is transforming feed nutrition. The Veramaris initiative is driving a higher sustainability standard of aquaculture that aligns with DSM’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals.
Enel Green Power North America
Creating Shared Value Through Low-Impact Solar Development
To address the climate crisis and growing demand for clean energy, Enel Green Power partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy to create the Aurora Solar Project. The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) estimates that by 2030 over 3 million acres of land will be required for solar development in the United States. Given how solar and agriculture co-location and responsible land management contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, this initiative was central to Enel’s sustainable mission.
The project aims to assess how native vegetation management programs at utility-scale solar sites can deliver long-term environmental and soil quality benefits, carbon storage, and can also increase pollinator insect habitat and improve overall solar performance. Creating low-impact solar development preserves land and takes proactive site preparation measures, including planting native and other beneficial vegetation, often friendly to bees and other pollinator insects, while providing habitat for native species.
Beyond the environmental benefits, flourishing vegetation underground-mounted solar sites can boost energy production by cooling the areas under and around the solar panels. Warm temperatures under the panels can lead to a reduction in the efficiency of converting sunlight into energy.
Enel’s solar farms in Minnesota provide students and members of the community a ‘living laboratory’ where they can witness the impact of solar energy and see the pollinator habitats come to life. By partnering with the NREL and academia to create a unique curriculum, Enels’ employees can use their personal and professional passions to engage with youth and encourage future work in sustainability. Enel also awarded $1,000 grants to ten Minnesota high schools and provided training webinars to develop curriculum in agriculture, science and renewable energy.
Schneider Electric USA
Carbon Neutrality by 2030
Schneider Electric believes that taking care of our planet while providing access to energy for all is in its DNA. It has been devoted to energy reduction for the past decade, but felt it needed to accelerate its commitments. Knowing that supply chain neutrality presents big challenges and most companies are afraid to commit to a decarbonizing supply chain because of the complexities, Schneider Electric hopes to lead by example and invite other organizations to join them. By embracing this challenge, Schneider Electric is becoming a trailblazer in the industry.
Building on its existing commitments around 100 percent renewable energy by 2030, halving energy productivity and all electric vehicle fleet by 2030, Schneider Electric announced its most ambitious goal to date: speeding up carbon neutrality by 2025; net zero operational emissions by 2030 via validated Science Based Target process; and, supply chain net zero by 2050.
Schneider Electric is working with customers and suppliers to achieve these goals jointly. The company makes 750,000 products sold to every sector of the U.S. economy, so its goal is to impact various industries and help reduce their emissions as well. Schneider wants to prove to its clients and other companies that combining sound economic decisions with a heavy focus on reducing emissions is possible.
Schneider Electric believes in the model of lowering emissions and improving sustainability from CEO-down, which is why the CEO made the commitment at Climate Week. Schneider’s factories are some of the most energy saving in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, and its employees know that when they work for Schneider, they are working for a company that values preserving the planet.
From 2017 to 2019, Schneider took steps to commit to 100 percent renewables, 100 percent electric fleet and reducing energy intensity by half. It also has successfully completed its most recent three-year plan for green packaging, 100 waste landfills for 100 top industrial sites, and it’s on target to reduce its own manufacturing emissions by 80 percent by 2020.
Deustche Telekom subsidiary, T-Mobile, evaluated its company footprint and recognized the opportunity to lead a sustainability initiative to help spur environmental change across the industry. It announced its commitment to power all of it business, from cell towers to customer care centers, to retail stores and headquarters with 100 percent renewable energy by 2021. The commitment positions T-Mobile as the only major U.S. wireless company to make this type of pledge.
In line with this sustainability commitment, T-Mobile, in partnership with leading conservation organization The Nature Conservancy, launched the #TreeMobile campaign on Earth Day in 2018. T-Mobile used the hashtag across its social media channels and leveraged the power of social media to promote and protect the environment. T-Mobile voiced the invaluable benefits that trees provide, including filtering clean air, providing fresh drinking water, helping curb climate change and creating homes for thousands of species of animals.
In 2018, the T-Mobile social initiative led to the planting of nearly 30,000 trees on Earth Day across the continental United States and Puerto Rico. In 2019, T-Mobile decided to expand the #TreeMobile campaign beyond a single day and encouraged employees and customers to help plant trees during a three-month period from Earth Day through the month of June. T-Mobile employees and customers were given four different options of ways they could get involved and plant trees. The initiative engaged over 480,000 Americans and led to the planting of 311,000 trees in the United States.