Sustainability is becoming an absolute must for some consumers when they decide who gets their business. And a few retailers stand head and shoulders above the pack.

Earlier this month, the top 10 U.S. retailers using green energy were revealed and some big names led the way. Seeing giants like Wal-Mart and Starbucks top this list is a clear indication of how important environmentally sound business practices have become to American companies. As large retailers across a wide variety of industries adopt sustainable initiatives and turn their attention toward a greener future, they realize they can maintain and grow their customer bases by appealing to the surging awareness of and involvement in renewable energy.

Each of these retailers gets a standing ovation from us here at Viridian Energy for pursuing green energy in its own unique way:

  1. Starbucks: The coffee giant’s goal is to “purchase renewable energy equivalent to 100 percent of the electricity used in its company-owned stores by 2015” and is well on the way.
  2. McDonald’s: This home of the Big Mac is also home to heavy commitment to sustainability across five main areas: food, sourcing, the planet, people and community.
  3. Sprint: Sprint’s buyback program promotes reusing and recycling, and the company’s website features a full section devoted to its green initiatives.
  4. Ahold USA: Ahold, a worldwide grocery chain, has been recognized by the EPA for reducing its carbon footprint and seriously pursuing alternative energy sources.
  5. Safeway: The grocery chain, whose motto is “ingredients for life,” makes sure many of its ingredients are sourced from local farmers. Fully 100 percent of its gas station stores are also run on third-party renewable electricity.

While their pursuits may differ, the goal of all these large companies is the same: demonstrate their commitment to a greener future for the world to earn their patrons’ trust. With such industry leaders leading the charge toward a green energy future, the world’s prospects are looking bright.