A recent article by EDF (Environmental Defense Fund) shines the light on businesses who are leading the way in environmental innovations.
EDF‘s “How environmental innovation will transform business as usual” article focuses on inventive businesses who are using their technology to benefit the environment. According to Tom Murray, VP of EDF’s Corporate Partnerships program, more than 340 companies have taken science-based climate action and 90 of those have created science-based environmental targets for them to reach. These companies are “collaborating with partners across the value chain for maximum scale and impact while supporting smart climate and energy policy.”
Some of the companies listed include Walmart, whose Project Gigaton is “a collaborative effort to reduce 1 billion tons of emissions,” and Google, who partnered with EDF to “map air pollution threats on a block-by-block scale in West Oakland, California.”
A key to these companies’ future success seems to be what EDF describes as a “Fourth Wave of environmental innovation.” This Fourth Wave refers to the fourth big push in the U.S. towards more environmentally friendly practices. The first wave of environmental advocacy was when Teddy Roosevelt advocated for the creation of national parks and protected lands. The second wave refers to Rachel Carson’s era of environmental law. The third wave started in 1990 when “McDonald’s and Environmental Defense Fund joined forces to drive innovation in packaging and waste reduction.” EDF explains that Third Wave problem-solving environmental approaches have become “standard practices,” but they must be accelerated by a Fourth Wave of new environmentally-focused technological innovations.
An EDF survey of executives showed that 86% think that “Fourth Wave technology can help their bottom line as well as improve their impact on the environment.” The same survey showed that this number rose to 91% in regards to C-suite executives. These results fuel hope for a Fourth Wave of environmental progress, protection, and technology that will pave the way for a safer and more environmentally-friendly future.