Airplane assembler Bombardier Inc. is also in the disassembly business.
The world's third-largest civil aerospace company has aircraft dismantling operations at two service centres in Bridgeport, W. Va., and Tucson, Ariz. Aging Bombardier regional jets are torn apart and their usable components salvaged for reuse.
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It's a small part of Bombardier's integrated environmental strategy that lays out a path to continuously improving its performance in such areas as lower greenhouse-gas emissions, reduced energy consumption and use of recyclable materials.
Montreal-based Bombardier has come out on top in the "environment" category in The Globe and Mail's Report on Corporate Responsibility index.
The plane and train giant says it's simply smart business practice to commit to a management approach that routinely factors in the green equation.
Investors, stakeholders and customers are increasingly demanding serious, measurable environmental performance from their companies. And adopting green manufacturing processes results in lower costs across the board.
Daniel Desjardins, a senior vice-president and legal counsel at Bombardier, said pushing ahead on the environmental front is also a way to stay ahead of the competition.
He singles out one telling example of how a high environmental profile pays off: "It helps attract top young talent. It's a value proposal for employees, who want to work for good corporate citizens."
In its latest corporate social responsibility report, Bombardier said its achievements include decreasing water consumption by 35 per cent, energy consumption by 17 per cent and greenhouse gas emissions by 10 per cent between 2004 and 2009.
"It's pure savings for the company," Mr. Desjardins said.
The company's manufacturing units had been quietly implementing green techniques on their own for years but a decision was made two years ago to establish a comprehensive, company-wide program with a much higher-profile both internally and externally, he said.
"We did an inventory of the individual initiatives and then refocused them with a strengthened mission statement," he said. "If you want to walk the talk and be serious, you have to set goals and report what you're doing."
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