15 large American companies that have the best environmental policies

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apple lisa jackson recyclingSteve Kovach/Tech InsiderSteve Kovach/Tech Insider

  • Just Capital released its annual ranking of the best companies for the environment, or those with the most robust sustainability practices. 
  • Companies like Microsoft, Apple, and Goldman Sachs made major steps to recycle or redirect solid waste from landfills.
  • Here are 15 companies with the best environmental practices.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

As the US government drags its feet on climate change legislation, major corporations have stepped up to address the challenge.

Companies like Microsoft, Apple, and Goldman Sachs are making massive strides in recycling or redirecting solid waste from landfills. Apparel company PVH Corp uses recyclable packaging for the majority of its products, and Intel even ties employee compensation to their sustainability practices.

Read more: Why the CEOs of Shell, BP, and 11 other major corporations have decided to lobby DC for climate change legislation 

To separate the companies taking bold, industry-redefining steps to limit their environmental footprints, nonprofit Just Capital released its annual ranking of the best companies for the environment. Founded by billionaire investor Paul Tudor Jones, Just Capital analyzes corporate responsibility practices at 1,000 of the largest US companies.

Aside from environmental impact, the survey breaks down a company's employee treatment, ethical leadership, and transparent customer service. 

Here are 15 companies with top-notch environmental practices:

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15. Xylem, a water technology company, issued a public statement of commitment to the principles of the Paris Climate Accord in 2017.

15. Xylem, a water technology company, issued a public statement of commitment to the principles of the Paris Climate Accord in 2017.

The company has 250 full- and part-time staff working at the site to implement sustainability practices.

14. First Solar displaces 89% to 98% of greenhouse gas emissions using thin-film PV technology.

14. First Solar displaces 89% to 98% of greenhouse gas emissions using thin-film PV technology.

13. Cummins, an engine producer, has decreased water usage by 10 million gallons since initiating its water-reduction strategy in 2014.

13. Cummins, an engine producer, has decreased water usage by 10 million gallons since initiating its water-reduction strategy in 2014.

Cummins also recycled approximately 90% of its solid waste in 2017.

12. PVH Corp uses recyclable products for about 70% of its packaging.

12. PVH Corp uses recyclable products for about 70% of its packaging.

PVH recycled 10,000 metric tons of its solid waste in 2017, or 90.5% of total solid waste it generated.

11. S&P Global scored highly for disclosure around its carbon and climate management practices.

11. S&P Global scored highly for disclosure around its carbon and climate management practices.

S&P Global recycled or composted approximately 84% of its solid waste in 2017.

10. Intel announced it would restore 100% of its global water use by 2025.

10. Intel announced it would restore 100% of its global water use by 2025.

The company has tied a portion of each employee's compensation to environmental sustainability since 2008.

9. IBM purchased 779,000 megawatt hours of renewable electricity in 2017.

9. IBM purchased 779,000 megawatt hours of renewable electricity in 2017.

8. Adobe has vowed to operate with 100% renewable energy by 2035.

8. Adobe has vowed to operate with 100% renewable energy by 2035.

7. Goldman Sachs aims to divert 100% of business waste from landfills by 2020.

7. Goldman Sachs aims to divert 100% of business waste from landfills by 2020.

6. Xerox is a founding member of an international coalition dedicated to creating waste-free products in waste-free facilities.

6. Xerox is a founding member of an international coalition dedicated to creating waste-free products in waste-free facilities.

Xerox produced below average greenhouse gas emissions per dollar of revenue, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 28% in 2016.

5. Apple recycled approximately 38,000 metric tons of its solid waste in 2017.

5. Apple recycled approximately 38,000 metric tons of its solid waste in 2017.

22 of Apple's supplier facilities — including all iPhone assembly sites — were certified as Zero Waste in 2017.

4. Accenture diverted over 99% of its electronic waste from landfills in 2017.

4. Accenture diverted over 99% of its electronic waste from landfills in 2017.

The company also reduced each employee's carbon emissions from air travel by about 4% in fiscal year 2017.

3. Bank of New York Mellon diverted nearly 73% of its solid waste from landfills in 2017.

3. Bank of New York Mellon diverted nearly 73% of its solid waste from landfills in 2017.

The bank reused or recycled 35,682 technology devices and recycled 3,088 printers.

2. Biogen aims to reduce greenhouse gas intensity of operations by 80% in 2020.

2. Biogen aims to reduce greenhouse gas intensity of operations by 80% in 2020.

Biogen, a pharmaceutical company, recycled 5,594 metric tons of solid waste in 2017.

1. Microsoft recycles over 26.5 million pounds of unused tech equipment (known as "e-waste") annually.

1. Microsoft recycles over 26.5 million pounds of unused tech equipment (known as "e-waste") annually.

The company also signed the largest US solar purchase last year after it agreed to buy renewable energy from a 315 megawatt solar project in Virginia.

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