Look who else is going green

Elephant seals have recovered from the brink of extinction at a Chilean preserve supported by a U.S. investment firm. (Goldman Sachs)

Reducing carbon emissions. Increasing energy efficiency. Developing sustainable supply chains. Sounds like an environmental group’s agenda, doesn’t it? But these are actions that major U.S. corporations are taking at home and abroad. Responsible environmental policies have found their place in corporate culture in a big way.

Cargill trainers help small farmers build skills to sustain their crops, their families and their farms. (Cargill)

Cargill, a major food and agricultural products concern, has made farmers in West Africa, Indonesia and Brazil a Cocoa Promise.  It trains cocoa farmers, supports cocoa-farming communities, and assures the long-term, sustainable production of cocoa. Training teams already have helped tens of thousands of farmers.

Karukinka protects Chile’s largest guanaco population. One of the largest mammal species in South America, the guanaco is related to alpacas and llamas. (Goldman Sachs)

The ecologically diverse Karukinka protected area in Chile sprawls across almost 300,000 hectares at the tip of South America. Forests and wildlife will continue to thrive there because the Goldman Sachs investment firm and the Wildlife Conservation Society have pledged to protect it forever. Karukinka’s huge peat bogs are a big hedge against climate change because they trap carbon and prevent its release into the atmosphere.

Alcoa sponsored a tree-planting event in Bohai, China. (Alcoa)

Ten Million Trees is a far-reaching tree-planting campaign sponsored by Alcoa, the U.S. company best known for producing aluminum. For more than a decade, Alcoa workers at many of its far-flung enterprises have planted trees to help draw carbon from the atmosphere.

These companies and others, such as Google, Apple and Walmart, have taken the American Business Act on Climate Pledge. So far, 13 major corporations have signed on. By reducing emissions and converting to clean energy, these businesses contribute to the Obama administration’s plan to cut America’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 32 percent by 2030.