How green energy saves the Fortune 500 billions

For Fortune 500 companies, green energy and greentech programs must not just be good for the environment, but solidly in the black. Here's how some businesses have managed to grow their bottom lines while also reducing their carbon footprints.

1 of 5
BACKNEXT
Dow Chemical
Dow Chemical
Money saved: $760 million annually, $7 billion since 1990
Fortune 500 rank: 45

Dow Chemical continues to profit on a decades-old sustainability strategy. Between 2009 and 2010, the company saved $760 million from improved energy efficiency, which is something that Dow has been working on since 1990. Since that year, Dow says it has invested about $2 billion in energy efficiency, which has resulted in over $9.4 billion in savings, a $7 billion net savings.

By streamlining the energy used for its manufacturing processes, Dow also has also reduced the amount of greenhouse gasses it emits, down 20% from 1994, preventing roughly 90 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. Dow wants to cut greenhouse gas emissions even more, ideally ratcheting them down 2.5% per year from a 2005 baseline.

Dow is also looking to boost green initiatives beyond the processing plant. It wants to keep 7,000 semi-truckloads of chemical processing byproducts out of landfills, and this past year, it partnered with the Nature Conservancy. Dow pledged $10 million to the partnership, which will enable the chemicals company to assess its environmental impact in communities where it operates.


NEXT: Hewlett-Packard
Last updated May 16 2011: 6:18 PM ET
6 affordable new cars that go easy at the gas pump Gas prices are creeping up to the $4 per gallon range, but hybrid vehicles remain beyond many drivers' budgets. These new cars, which tread lightly at both the gas pump and the financing counter, are anything but econoboxes. More
Best Companies to Work For: Happy Campers Taking care of top talent is taking precedence as the economy picks back up. Here's how Zappos, DreamWorks Animation, and Teach for America do it. More
Top Tweeters: Social media champs This group of companies is all about Tweeting, Facebook Liking and Linking In -- among other social media tools -- in order to better connect with and serve their customers. More