Having a 'Green Core' is more than just a selling tool for some businesses. Some have a green ethos as their central focus, really working hard to use the size and power of their business to do good for the world. Other, smaller businesses offer an environmentally friendly alternative, even if it isn't cost effective. Putting the planet first is important, so we look at ten UK businesses who do just that.

J C Atkinson

green Ever heard of a 'green funeral'? With J C Atkinson's 'Greener Goodbyes' service, there is a way of being buried in a more environmentally friendly manner. By re-balancing the carbon emissions of a typical funeral process, the service can be carbon neutral. The deceased will also have the legacy of an eco-friendly funeral, reminding people that they cared for the planet. One of the options is a memorial pack, including sapling trees, a wooden memorial marker and a personalized engraved plate. Another option is to have a coffin made from wool, bamboo (see right) or wicker.

Pureprint

The Pureprint Group have some quite remarkable achievements, such as becoming the first Carbon Neutral printer in the world, and winning multiple awards from the Queen. Their environmental and green initiatives started 25 years ago and have not stopped. Pureprint are held with the highest esteem as a green business. To see more about their green core and incredible list of achievements, see here. Saint-Gobain Glass Saint-Gobain is a huge multi-national corporation with a legacy stretching back 350 years. Their glass division has been praised for its dedication to recycling and the environment. This extract speaks for itself: “The company uses five times more recycled glass in its manufacturing than any of its competitors. Every ton of recycled glass heated in the furnaces saves 1.2 tons of raw material being quarried. The firm uses 3,000 tonnes of waste glass every month. Research conducted by The Sunday Times in conjunction with environmental consultants, Bureau Veritas and market research group, Munro Global, also found that employees say the environment is an everyday consideration, giving a 90 per cent green score and that the environment has a bearing on their job (89 per cent). Staff also helped reduce waste from 6,370 tonnes in 2001 to 1,645 tonnes in 2006. Other key achievements include a reduction of waste sent to landfill of 75% in just six years, a 12 per cent increase in the amount of waste recycled in the last 12 months alone and the lowest C02 emissions of any flat glass plant in Europe. In addition, Saint-Gobain Glass in Eggborough makes 28 per cent of its product from recycled cullet (glass) - more than any other glass producer.” (Read more) Canon Canon design their products with a considerate thought for the environment and often include recycled materials. They minimise the energy that their products use when being operated, so customers save natural resources, and they anticipate how they can be re-manufactured, re-used or recycled at the end of their working lives. By applying resource efficiency, they reduce the amount of new natural resources they need to manufacture their products. (Read more) We featured Canon recently, take a look here Infinis One of the few carbon positive businesses in the UK, and perhaps the largest. Their landfill gas capture and combustion reduces the UK's carbon output by about 1.5%, equivalent to the size of Birmingham! The windfarm projects are placed carefully to protect natural wildlife, and are the most environmentally friendly wind-farms in the UK. Infinis are even recycling MDPE piping, something that no competitor is doing. Read more in this lovely PDF! Greenworks Greenworks are a UK water solution company, offering environmentally friendly hydration options in a variety of ways. As well as being truly passionate about their environmental impact, Greenworks are a zero to landfill business, recycling their waste locally to provide energy to hospitals. Their foundation supports water and sanitation projects in Africa and they have repeatedly been awarded position on best business lists. You can read more about their work here. Clear Channel UK Clear Channel are one of the UK's leading advertising companies, but they offer more than just a physical portal to have your brand seen. They offer a green service, a considerate and well thought out solution that will improve the CSR of any business who works with them. They are currently diverting an amazing 99.8% of waste from landfill.  As well as this, they offer free advertising to several charities and use empty media advertising space to help look for missing persons. Clear Channel are really interesting in their approach, well worth looking into. Berkeley homes Berkeley homes are in the FTSE250 as one of the UK's largest public owned businesses. They build homes, and are well respected for their dedicated environmental policy. This policy includes reducing carbon emissions and water consumption on building sites, finding recycling or re-use routes for 85% of waste from construction, demolition and excavation waste, designing all homes at a Level 3 standard from the Code for Sustainable Homes and harvesting rainwater on all new developments. (Read more) Warren Evans Warren Evans have won so many awards (see below) for their 'green' beds that they probably had to buy some new cabinets. They are the masters of 'best practice', sticking closely to legislation, constantly vetting supply chains and performing environmental audits to make sure they are doing everything that can be done. They are considerate with their fuel use, water use and electricity use, they build their beds with materials from sustainable sources, keep staff and customers regularly updated with environmental information, and are always looking to improve on the previous quarter. Take a look here. Pindar Pindar are one of the UK's largest and most successful web offsetting companies. They work closely with businesses to improve their activities and not only make themselves greener, but their clients too. Encouraging others to improve their 'Green Core' is a worthy task, as without encouragement and reward, it often doesn't seem worth it for many businesses.