The company I choose for this weeks prompt was the Boeing Company. I’m sure everyone is aware that Boeing produces airplanes, but you might be unaware that they also have large portions of their business dedicated to NASA, defense contracts, and basically air/defense related technologies across the board.
For this assignment, I searched keywords such as “Boeing AND environment” or “Boeing AND energy” on a number of resources such as GoogleScholar and Lexis-Nexus, but of the resources I tried the only one that really gave me fruitful results was ProQuest.
So, what did I learn about Boeing? I didn’t know much about Boeing to begin with, and it’s probably fair to say I knew absolutely nothing about any of their environmental or energy initiatives. Thinking about it, it makes perfect sense considering the industry Boeing is in, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover just how dedicated they seem to be to reducing their company footprint. After all, a technology company probably wouldn’t be very successful if they couldn’t make use of some of their own technology and know-how. As far as Boeing’s “green resume” goes, they have a number of awards such as the LEED EB Gold certification and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR for a number of their American offices.
However, it isn’t the awards that’s the interesting part. Boeing seems to really be pursuing an environmentally conscious and friendly corporate position. Boeing is pursuing green initiatives across the board: in the offices where they think up the products, on the manufacturing floors where they make the products, and even in the products themselves. I’ll take a number of the articles I read and sort of morph them into one single story to get the point across. Boeing took over an office from IBM in Houston, TX and in the first year of operations cut energy usage by 19%, followed by an 8% decrease and then a 7.5% decrease in years 2 and 3. Aside from reducing CO2 emissions, they also simply made the office more comfortable to work in by having better control over systems we take for granted such as air conditioning or heat. On the manufacturing floor, two middle managers created something they dubbed a “green team” to bridge the gap between managers and workers. The point of the green team was to make the production process more environmentally friendly, such as decreasing the amount of clean-up rags used by altering the distribution method. Finally, Boeing even tries to make the products it is making as efficient as possible, as it most evident in the airplanes: “Over the last 40 years, airplane emissions of carbon dioxide have been reduced by around 70 percent and the noise footprints have been reduced by approximately 90 percent. Boeing targets improving fuel efficiency of each new generation of commercial airplane by 15 percent compared to the airplanes they replace.”