The Virgin Corporation is just about one of the biggest companies you can get. There’s a very diverse portfolio of companies under the corporation’s umbrella, and of course, the CEO, Richard Branson, is a very familiar face.
Virgin has always had a reputation for being a good company to work for; one that treats its employees well, and one that is socially responsible. But what about environmentally responsible?
Yes, they’re that as well.
How is Virgin being environmentally responsible?
The Carbon War Room
Richard Branson so-founded the Carbon War Room in 2009 with some other entrepreneurs. The idea behind it was to work together to find solutions to climate change. One of the main things that the entrepreneurs want to achieve is finding a way to shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy in a cost-effective way.
Achievements so far
The scheme has launched the first ever efficiency system for ships. This is crucial, given that so much of the world’s produce is now shipped from one place to another. 2 billion tonnes of cargo is now transported in greener ships.
The ‘Ten Island Challenge’ was launched in 2012. The aim of the challenge is to make 10 islands run on 100% renewable energy. Aruba, the Bahamas, Belize, Colombia, Grenada, St. Lucia, and Turks and Caicos are all going to be part of the challenge.
Musha Cay - The Bahamas
The scheme is working with the aviation industry to identify new options for fuelling aircraft.
The scheme set up ‘clean property’ programmes in the USA, which helps people constructing new buildings and homes to install energy-efficiency measures, without having to pay an upfront cost.
The scheme has helped the owners of truck fleets to invest in efficiency technologies to reduce carbon emissions. In North America, this has reduced emissions by 18%.
This scheme involves bringing awareness of the problems of overfishing, climate change, and pollution to the attention of people that matter. The ethos is that each and every one of us has responsibility to look after the oceans, because if we do, we get to reap the benefits, in terms of the food we eat and the air we breathe. Virgin has teamed up with global charitable foundations and resource conservation organisations to operate this scheme.
Achievements so far
It’s brought to attention a need for new international agreements to protect marine life.
It has supported schemes to make a shark and ray sanctuary in the Caribbean
It has supported conservation initiatives to end illegal fishing and to designate some areas as marine reserves.
Campaigning against wildlife poachers and traffickers
Virgin’s ethos is that we should protect our natural resources and work with nature, so that we can all live a healthy and prosperous way of life.
They work with organisations such as Wild Aid, to campaign against practices like rhino poaching, work with organisations to raise awareness of wildlife trafficking and raise awareness among consumers about the real cost to the natural world of buying products like ivory, and buying illegally trafficked animals as pets, for example.