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Top 25 Green Energy Leaders

Forward-thinking companies, universities and municipalities are finding creative ways to run on renewable power

5. Whole Foods Market
Austin, TX | Retail
527 million green kWh, 100% of total power used
Since December 2005 Whole Foods Market has entirely offset conventional power consumption at its stores nationwide. At that time, its buy was the biggest renewable energy purchase ever in North America. Employees at the regional or store level determine what kinds of energy to purchase (or generate) for the most locally sound decisions.

6. Pepsi Bottling Group
Somers, NY| Food & Beverage
470 million green kWh, 100% of total power used
As the largest bottler and distributor of Pepsi products, the group jumped headlong into running fully on green energy just months after PepsiCo did (#2 above). The group, which sells more than 1.7 billion cases of drinks annually, offsets all its U.S. power use through credits.

7. Johnson & Johnson
New Brunswick, NJ | Health Care
435 million green kWh, 38% of total power used
Johnson & Johnson began setting sustainability goals in 1990. These days, to meet more than a third of its U.S. power consumption, the company plays the full trifecta: on-site generation, energy purchases and offset credits. It generates power from landfill gas and solar panels, purchases both wind and hydropower directly, and buys offset credits for biomass and wind power.

8. U.S. Air Force
Various bases | Government
426 million green kWh, 5% of total power used
The air force’s program started with Edwards Air Force Base in California about 10 years ago. Engineers there “were doing renewable energy before there were renewable goals,” says Jim Snook, renewable energy program manager. Since then, bases around the country have started finding ways to buy and generate renewable energy “simply because it was the right thing to do,” Snook says. About 50 bases are onboard, he estimates, and about half of those are doing on-site generation. Wind turbines at F. E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming can sweep up about 3.3 megawatts of power, and just outside of Las Vegas at Nellis Air Force Base, solar panels can produce 30 million kWh a year, which the air force asserts is the largest solar energy installation in the Western Hemisphere.

9. Cisco Systems
San Jose, CA | Information Technology
401 million green kWh, 46% of total power used
By switching nearly half its operations to renewable energy, Cisco has eliminated the carbon emissions equal to those of more than 31 million gallons of burned gasoline. That is the equivalent of removing 335,000 car trips (at 30 miles per gallon) between New York City and Los Angeles.

10. City of Houston
Texas| Government
350 million green kWh, 27% of total power used
Look out Chicago, Houston might be on its way to stealing the Windy City moniker—and not because of the politicians or the climate. The city’s government is now running on 27 percent fixed-rate wind power. Although that is less than a third of its total demand, Houston’s sizable purchase makes it the largest city or state buyer in the country.

11. City of Dallas
Texas | Government
334 million green kWh, 40% of total power used
After hosting an eye-opening climate conference, the city government decided to help lower statewide ozone levels by decreasing its conventional power use, says Jill Jordan, an assistant city manager. Right off the bat, the city went 40 percent green, primarily with wind power. It hasn’t been a penny saver yet, Jordan says: “You actually pay a premium.” But “it was just a commitment on the part of the council and the city... to be good leaders.” In June 2008 Dallas became the first U.S. city to be certified for its Environmental Management System by the International Organization for Standards, which recognizes companies and institutions across the globe for compliance with rigorous criteria.

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