The 3 Greenest Fortune 500 Companies

Intel Corporation, Microsoft Corporation, and Kohl’s Corp. are the cleanest corporations around.

Feb 8, 2014 at 4:30PM

If you head to any corporate website, chances are you'll find evidence of their fantastic environmental initiatives. But for those wanting to delve deeper, the EPA has separated fact from fiction, and awarded gold, silver, and bronze to the three Fortune 500 companies using the most renewable energy. Here's how Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), and Kohl's Corp. (NYSE:KSS) topped the list.

1. Intel Corporation

Source: Intel Corporation. 

Chip manufacturing takes a load of electricity, and Intel Corporation sources 100% of its demand from renewable sources. At 3,100,850,000 kWh of annual usage, Intel Corporation's consumption is enormous -- but the company's committed to keeping itself clean. The company isn't afraid to get political and makes it clear in its policy that global warming is a real threat:

Intel believes that climate change is a serious economic, social and environmental challenge that warrants an equally serious societal and policy response.

While Intel Corporation keeps its own corporation clean, it's also working hard to advance green options for others. Its eco-friendly processors are industry leaders in energy efficiency, and its applications range from improving offshore wind power productivity to enhancing smart grid capabilities.

2. Microsoft Corporation
Microsoft Corporation is undergoing massive management changes, but its energy use is consistently clean. While its renewable energy use only accounts for 80% of total consumption, its sheer scale enables the company to use a whopping 1,935,551,000 kWh of clean energy every year.

Microsoft Corporation's environmental initiatives span the nation, and it relies on a mix of on- and off-site biomass, small-scale hydro, solar, and wind projects to keep business bustling.

Microsoft Corporation

Source: Microsoft Corporation. 

In 2012, Microsoft Corporation announced its intentions to go 100% carbon neutral in fiscal 2013, from data centers to its employee's flights around the world. To help it achieve its goal, the company initiated an innovative "carbon fee," which levies specific tariffs on its individual business segments for their energy use. Ceres, the company responsible for the design of the fee, describe its unique approach:

By disseminating the costs associated with its carbon neutral policy across the organization (based on which divisions are actually responsible for the carbon emissions), Microsoft has created a self-replenishing fund to subsidize green initiatives and offset any residual emissions.

3. Kohl's Corp.

Kohls Corp

Source: Kohl's Corp.; Arizona store with solar rooftop panels.

Kohl's Corp. may be known for clean clothes, but certainly not clean energy. Nevertheless, this department store company is the Fortune 500's third-largest renewable energy user. At 1,536,529,000 kWh of annual green power usage, Kohl's Corp. actually produces and purchases more green energy than it needs -- 105% of its total electricity use.

Of Kohl's Corp.'s stores, 148 currently sport solar panel systems, and 801 are Energy Star certified. And by 2015, the company expects to up its solar stores to 200.

A central energy management system keeps an automatic eye on all of Kohl Corp.'s stores, controlling lighting, heating, and cooling nationwide. This has helped it achieve one of the lowest energy usages per square foot of all retail corporations.

Kohls Corp Wind

Source: Kohl's Corp.; Horizontal wind turbines at Texas store.

But Kohl's Corp. isn't keep all the clean fun to itself. In addition to its solar investments, the company has been running two wind pilot projects since 2011, and its research should help big-box stores everywhere determine how wind power could cut their own carbon consumption.

Go green to make green?
Intel Corporation, Microsoft Corporation, and Kohl's Corp. are the greenest Fortune 500 companies around. But their environmental initiatives make sense. Energy efficiency cuts electricity costs, while renewable energy use makes their products increasingly attractive to environmentally minded consumers. These three companies are Fortune 500 leaders -- and their green goodness could be a secret sign of solid sales to come.

Say goodbye to "Made In China"
Going green is paying off for U.S. companies -- and technological advancement plays a major role in their environmental efforts. For the first time since the early days of this country, we're in a position to dominate the global manufacturing landscape thanks to a single, revolutionary technology: 3-D printing. Although this sounds like something out of a science fiction novel, 3-D printing could be the most environmental innovation ever, and the success of 3-D printing is already a foregone conclusion to many manufacturers around the world. The trick now is to identify the companies -- and thereby the stocks -- that will prevail in the battle for market share. To see the three companies that are currently positioned to do so, simply download our invaluable free report on the topic by clicking here now.

Justin Loiseau has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Intel and owns shares of Intel and Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

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David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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