Plenty Magazine awards 20 businesses for bettering the planet in innovative ways:
A123 System – for making a nanotech breakthrough with a battery that charges faster, holds more power, and is safer than other batteries.
Applied Materials – for repurposing its nanomanufacturing technology to create the largest thin-film solar cells in the world.
Arup – for bringing the latest ideas in sustainability to the construction industry.
Bon Appétit Management Company – for purchasing food according to deep-green principles, such as direct purchasing from farmers and artisans located within 150 miles of where each meal is.
Coskata – for converting tires and glass, as well as municipal and agricultural waste, into fuel.
Environmental Working Group – for campaigns pushing cosmetics to be more eco-friendly. Such as their Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, which has made more than 600 companies pledge to replace hazardous chemicals in their products.
Forest Stewardship Council – for providing green stamps of approval.
Google – for investing hundreds of millions of dollars to find a clean, low-cost form of energy.
Home Depot – for demanding fair-labor and eco-friendly practices of its suppliers.
Iberdrola – for being the largest renewable energy operator in the world, and investing $8 billion in renewable energy, mainly wind power, in the U.S. in the next two years.
IBM – for exploring ways to make the entire energy grid smarter, so companies can measure and charge for energy usage more accurately.
Innovest Strategic Value Advisors – for placing emphasis on companies’ environmental, social, and governance issues when investing.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – for providing a scientific basis with which to frame the climate change issue.
Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams – for their eco-designs in upholstery, such as using regenerated fibers and soy-based biomaterials in seat cushions; and using responsibly sourced wood in its furniture.
Nike – for launching eco-products and setting goals for reducing toxic and wastes in its products.
Patagonia – for launching the Footprint Chronicles, a Web site which discloses the eco-impacts of its products.
Pizza Fusion – for using organic, locally-sourced ingredients to make its pizzas, and offering incentives to get customers to bring pizza boxes back.
RecycleBank – for offering recycling incentives by rewarding dollars for the weight recycled.
Swiss Re – for buying certified emission reductions and verified emission reductions to make itself greenhouse neutral.
TransFair USA – for adding flowers and honey to its list of certified products this year.
Here’s a look at last year’s Plenty 20.