Companies known for proactive environmental policies can garner favor from customers, employees, regulators, the media, and others. Because of their reputation, they are able to reap benefits such as reduced pressure from activist groups and the media, increased ability to attract and retain high quality employees, improved community relations, enhanced brand image, stronger customer loyalty, and increased appeal to socially responsible investors and portfolio managers.
Ben & Jerry's sustainable business practices have always been a key part of it's corporate image and its economic success.
Whole Foods Market, which was founded in 1980 as one small store in Austin, Texas, became the world's leading retailer of natural and organic foods by remaining true to its original commitment to stringent quality standards and sustainable agriculture.
Patagonia, whose mission statement includes using business to inspire and implement solutions to environmental problems, has parlayed this commitment into a successful brand of outdoor clothing for customers who care about the environment.
GE Ecomagination. It's no mistake that even though only a limited number of customers can purchase the seventeen products featured in its Ecomagination initiative, such as jet engines and locomotives, GE's advertising campaign is aimed at the general public. Why? To build trust in GE's brands.
McDonald's successfully changed it's packaging to limit environmental impact and went on to receive well-publicized recognition for it's efforts from organizations such as the Audubon Society, Conservation International, Keep America Beautiful, the National Recycling Coalition, and the EPA.