April 22nd marks the 45th anniversary of Earth Day. More than 1 billion people will actively celebrate and promote the world’s largest civic observance. Each year during this time, companies across the globe pause from hectic work schedules to participate in Earth Day 2015 activities through environmental civic actions and a variety of initiatives. Many companies use promotional and sales events to celebrate Earth Day:
- EVOS, a sustainable franchise and healthier alternative to traditional fast food, is offering free organic milkshakes on April 22.
- Caribou Coffee is offering free unlimited coffee and refills throughout the month of April for all individuals who purchase a 2015 Earth Month Tumbler.
- Kroger grocery stores will offer coupons and discounts during Earth Day weekend on eco-friendly products and also offer guidance that can make homes more eco-friendly.
In addition to promotions and sales, some companies further celebrate Earth Day through more mission-minded events:
- Johnson & Johnson’s Neutrogena launched an all digital Earth Month Campaign that relies on a #wipeforwater message that stresses how using Neutrogena’s new wipes can help avoid wasting up to five gallons of water per day. Furthermore, Neutrogena is donating $1 (up to $50,000) to The Nature Conservatory for every individual who pledges to clean his or her face without using water.
- Disney Corporation has continuously invested much effort into celebrating Earth Day; since 2008 the corporation has released four of the five highest grossing nature films in history. Upon release each April, these films reveal compelling stories about endangered animals and various ecosystems. This year, Monkey Kingdom chronicles the journey of Maya the monkey and her newborn son as they struggle to survive within a competitive and dangerous environment. For every movie ticket sold during opening week (April 17-23), Disney will make a donation (guaranteed minimum of $100,000) to Conservation International to help protect endangered species in their natural habitats.
- Pfizer, Inc. embraces its Own It! company slogan by asking employees how they own environmental sustainability and encouraging them to post photos online that depict their Green Journeys at the site or even outside of work. Additionally, all Pfizer New Jersey sites will recognize Earth Day 2015 through a number of environmentally friendly focused activities that include information sessions about recycling, habitat restoration and sustainable efforts in New Jersey. Colleagues that participate will also receive a free plant.
Several companies choose to celebrate Earth Day and National Volunteer Week (April 12-18) simultaneously. For example, Wells Fargo celebrates these two events by sponsoring office community and volunteer events throughout the nation, and past examples include the Green Teams in Miami, Minneapolis, and Winston-Salem that participated in events such as planting trees, cleaning beaches and lakes, and having information booths relevant to Earth Day and volunteerism. This year Wells Fargo will continue these acts of volunteerism throughout the U.S. Other large corporations that celebrate Earth Day in a similar manner include:
- Benjamin Moore & Co. with a company Green Promise and variety of eco-friendly paints
- Coca-Cola donating 1,000 syrup drums to be used to collect rainwater
- Capital One hosting education sessions, recycling drives and green volunteering
- Patagonia donating 1% of all sales to environmental preservation and restoration
- Seventh Generation hosting a “green your town” sweepstakes
- Starbucks providing a free beverage to those who provide a reusable mug.
Companies choose to enjoy Earth Day through a variety of practices, ranging from advertisement campaigns and sales events, to full length feature films and local office volunteer days. Many companies have learned to transcend the spirit of Earth Day from beyond just a single day to a continuous annual celebration and notion of civic duty. This ongoing embracement of sustainability indicates an important trend – the mainstream viability and popularization of mission-minded companies. In today’s increasingly conscious and responsible world, companies are expected to demonstrate social and environmental sustainability. EVOS, the sustainable fast food franchise mentioned earlier in this post, has a simple yet powerful Earth Day slogan that all companies and individuals should practice: “Earth Day. Every Day.”