Earth Day 2010 has come and gone, but many companies are still pursuing new environmentally sustainable initiatives. Let's look at some interesting recent green developments that might merit investors' attention.
Waste not, want not
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters
This green development may put Green Mountain's coffee rival Starbucks
A sustainability giant
Wal-Mart carried Terracycle's wares during a promotion for last month's Earth Day. In one clever touch, the retailer stocked Terracycle's backpacks, crafted from Kraft's Capri-Sun packages, next to the actual Capri-Sun beverages.
While Wal-Mart apparently told Terracycle that its sales did justify carrying the smaller company's products again next Earth Day, a more consistent relationship with the Bentonville behemoth, or other large retailers like Target, would surely help Terracycle' products reach a wider audience. The company has amassed warehouses of materials as it awaits increased demand.
Wal-Mart's huge customer base and influence can wield tremendous influence, good or bad, over suppliers' green initiatives. In addition, stores that purchase and promote more environmentally friendly goods could help encourage shoppers to think green more often -- and foster greater goodwill among eco-savvy shoppers.
Green power to the people
On the renewable energy front, the Environmental Protection Agency released its list of top green power purchasers. Among Fortune 500 companies, Intel
Sustainable initiatives not only make the world a cleaner, less wasteful place, but often help companies drive additional revenues, save money, or devise better operational processes. Given consumers' growing interest in sustainable living, companies that source their power or otherwise conduct business in eco-friendly ways could enjoy a significant boost to their public image. In the long run, that could benefit their shareholders as well.
Have you noticed any interesting green innovations among publicly traded companies recently? Want to call a company out for lame, half-hearted efforts to "greenwash" its image? Sound off in the comments boxes below.
Intel and Wal-Mart are Motley Fool Inside Value choices. Green Mountain is a Rule Breakers selection. Starbucks and Whole Foods are Stock Advisor recommendations. Johnson & Johnson is an Income Investor recommendation. The Fool has created a covered strangle position on Intel. Motley Fool Options has recommended a buy calls position on Johnson & Johnson. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.