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.

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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
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