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Leading by example for a greener tomorrow

How industry leaders are flexing their muscles for environmental change
Posted on September 3, 2015 | By: Dustin McNichols

Two of the hottest companies on the west coast are turning heads in 2015 but not in any of the ways we’re accustomed. Both Apple and Tesla Motors are deep into construction on massive, state-of-the-art, green buildings.
Apple is the buzz in California not just for the newest iPhone but for work on their new headquarters, the Apple Campus II or as many observers have likened the ‘Spaceship,’ for its saucer-like appearance. Apple CEO Tim Cook said of the project, during the recent Climate Week conference in New York: “We are building a new headquarters that will, I think, be the greenest building on the planet.” The company produced an environmental impact report on the project, which the city of Cupertino approved last year. It details everything from Apple’s strategy to power the entire campus with 100% renewable energy, promises to plant thousands of new trees and use recycled materials.
From renewable energy to green building materials, Apple and companies of all sizes are making strides to lessen their environmental footprint. Tesla Motors is no exception. The pioneering electric car manufacturer has a goal of achieving net zero energy in their upcoming Gigafactory battery plant—this effort is making a difference and we’re seeing more companies jumping into the fray every day.
Tesla Motors is ready to change everything. Not since the silver rush has Nevada seen such a boon and headlines like ‘biggest green building on Earth,’ ‘powered by renewable energy,’ and ‘$30,000 electric car,’ are busily turning heads just hours into the northern Nevadan desert. Tesla Motors, according to a Green Car Reports article, is slightly ahead of schedule on their massive battery factory, which by the companies press will produce enough batteries for 500,000 electric cars per year, and be powered entirely by renewable energy. Occupying nearly 1,000 acres, the Gigafactory will span 5 million square feet once finished. Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk claims it will be larger than all lithium-ion battery plants in the world combined. By sourcing North American raw materials to cut pollution and including as many recyclable and renewable building materials during construction, Tesla is taking every step to pave the way to sustainable practices for companies to follow. ‘Born out necessity, Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable transportation. To achieve that goal, we must produce electric vehicles in sufficient volume to force change in the automobile industry.’ (teslamotors.com)
Whether in the form of the products we use, the factories that assemble them or even the materials used to build the factory itself—companies like Apple, Tesla Motors and others around the nation are leading by example with facilities and/or products for a greener tomorrow. Cultural change will come from everyone choosing to make a difference and whether working at a net zero energy facility, driving an electric car or making the effort to use green building materials today, can help spur that change for tomorrow.
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