With so much focus on how large companies in the industrial sector are going green, it can be easy to ignore smaller businesses and the contributions they are making to the environmental movement. No longer: this article will focus on some lesser known names that are innovating towards a healthier Earth. While the corporations in question might be smaller, their ideas are just as big as those of more well-known names.
Unfortunately, coverage of solar power in the media lately has been decidedly negative. Falling employment and overall wages mean that fewer private individuals can afford solar panels on their homes. Ecotricity has solved this problem by marketing their solar panels to businesses in government infrastructures, which can better take advantage of large scale “solar parks.” This innovative solution has lead them to become one of the largest energy producers in the United Kingdom. Now they are marketing their products in North America, and seem poised for monumental success.
2. Accubuild Software
Currently, construction is one of the largest causes for pollution in the world–indeed, in the United States, waste from construction composes more of landfills than any other category of detritus. The developers of Accubuild software saw this, and tried a revolutionarily pro-active solution: they aim to reduce waste in construction by improving planning efficiency. Their Construction Document Management software lets planners consciously control both energy and material inefficiency as they work, decreasing costs in addition to carbon footprint. In between the shine of new materials and flashy technologies, it can be easy to forget the importance of logistics. Hopefully, more companies will follow Accubuild lead of working smarter, not harder.
3. Utility Warehouse
When it comes to innovative business models, Utility Warehouse takes the cake. Every new smart phone is made with a variety of rare, valuable, and irreplaceable minerals, most notably small amounts of Palladium. For this reason, used or recycled cellphone sales are great for the environment, as they conserve these precious resources. Unfortunately, used cellphone retailers have traditionally had trouble advertising their products via traditional means. That’s where Utility Warehouse differs from others: rather than wasting money on ineffective press and tv ads, Utility Warehouse’s advertising budget is used entirely to facilitate referrals from one customer to another, even granting modest commissions and store credit to skilled salespeople. This has led it to become one of the largest names in used telecommunication sales, and one of the greenest faces in the infamously wasteful smartphones industry.
One of the problems with traditional energy companies, especially when it comes to natural gas, is that they do nothing to combat wastefulness. On the contrary, customers are encouraged to “get what they pay for” every month, even if it means using unnecessary amounts of fuel. In direct contrast to this troubling trend, EBICo works on a “pay for what you use” model–with no monthly fee at all, customers instead pay for their energy on a per-watt or liter basis. This encourages thrifty customers to take measures to conserve electricity and fuel, thus benefitting the environment. It’s a win for all involved: the customer pays less, EBICo runs a steady profit, and the natural resources we all share are further preserved for the future.