Tomorrow Investor

Green Growth 50: Learning From Companies Boosting Profits While Cutting Emissions


Nowadays, many companies have started to change their system by opting for sustainability. 

Big companies, including eBay, Merck, HP, and many more, have been cutting their carbon emissions to avoid greenhouse gases and figuring out how to work green while keeping their profitability at a maximum.

Forbes made a list of the biggest profiting companies with the lowest carbon footprint, called Green Growth 50, and eBay is one of the best case studies.

Case study: eBay

Ecommerce pioneer eBay is also known as a pioneer of the circular economy, where raw materials are processed to become new products that can be disposed of.

According to CFO of eBay Steve Priest, disposal of products in landfills makes a lasting impression on customers. He added that the circular economy is “part of our daily lives,” resulting in the company’s reduced greenhouse gas emissions. 

This reduction has been tied to the power usage of eBays data centers. However, since 2017, eBay’s carbon emission has lessened by 29% of 88,000 tons per year. This year, the company has reached new heights of being carbon neutral. It is now aiming for a 100% renewable energy supply for all the data centers. 

This new goal might not be unattainable since eBay has launched earlier this year its new sustainable project. Big companies like Apple, Sprint, and Samsung join it in implementing the so-called The White Mesa Wind Project in Texas. 

The project produced 75 megawatts for the four companies strong enough to power 20,000 houses. At the same time, the other joint project by eBay, McDonald’s, and BP’s Lightsource division is expected to produce 345 megawatts.

eBay’s continuous efforts on sustainability landed them in 11th place on Forbes Green Growth 50 list. 

Does going green and profit coexist?

To come up with the list, Forbes used emissions data and financial data from Sustainalytics and FactSet Research Systems, respectively, to choose US companies with more than $5 billion revenue with 100,000 tons of carbon emissions starting from 2017. In addition, the companies vetted for the Green Growth 50 must also have reduced their carbon footprints without compromising profitability. 

In the experience of Green Growth 50 companies, does reducing carbon emissions lessen a company’s profit? For that, eBay’s Priest said that some companies think that going green makes it impossible to grow. However, he added that consumers especially love sustainable companies and that loyalty creates opportunities for growth. 

That strategy is evident from the profitability reports of companies on the top 50 list, such as cosmetics company Aptar, who landed the top 1 spot. 

Aptar CEO Stephan Tanda explained that companies tend to look great when linked with sustainability. Aptar has released a new sustainable product following the recent ranking: a “monomaterial” lotion pump that doesn’t use metals and is entirely recyclable. 

More and more companies have shared their insights about going green. One of the biggest electricity companies, AES landed the 15th spot on the list. The company has reduced 22% by replacing coal power plants with wind, solar, and batteries. 

However, some companies remain wary of going green and continue to be passive about their greenhouse gas emissions contribution. As a result, climate activists are continuously advocating for these companies to reduce their carbon footprints.

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