Zipline uses high-tech drones to deliver life-saving medicine and supplies to those in need internationally. For instance, the world’s only drone delivery system may deliver blood or animal vaccines to Africa.
The technology company uses data analytics to transform the world of public transportation. It has developed an intelligent platform that matches commuter needs with the available transportation supply. The system is able to predict what can potentially happen across a public transportation network, especially in Asian cities where infrastructure is insufficient.
3. Accessibility Partners
Accessibility Partners is a disability advocacy organization that aims to empower individuals with disabilities by testing and auditing tech devices to ensure they are accessible by the disabled. This company also walks the walk — a full 70 percent of its employees have disabilities.
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The company created the first smartphone-connected electrocardiogram, or EKG, which detects abnormal heart rhythms and lets users know in less than a minute whether they should get medical help. The device, known as Kardia, is FDA-approved.
The insurance company looks out for its customers while they’re on the road via the Drivewise app. It keeps a record of users’ driving, sends alerts when it detects risky driving behavior and connects users to roadside assistance when needed.
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When it comes to companies changing the world, there is no entity quite like Amazon. The company is constantly changing how consumers shop. The e-commerce giant is the largest of its kind in the world and has changed significantly from its humble bookstore beginning. In recent years, Amazon has gotten a foothold in the grocery action by purchasing Whole Foods, and it’s also producing critically acclaimed TV shows.
Amcor is the first global packaging company to pledge that all its packaging will be recyclable or reusable by 2025. The company also works with the World Food Programme to improve the way food is delivered to those most in need around the globe.
8. Ant Financial
Tech company Ant Financial created the Ant Forest app, which rewards users with points toward planting virtual trees for implementing earth-friendly habits. For every 17.9 kg of carbon saved, the company plants a real tree.
Chances are the smart device you’re reading this on is made by Apple. Even if you’re not on the Apple bandwagon, it’s hard to deny the huge influence the company has had socially and on how we communicate. Apple devices are made at facilities that run almost exclusively on renewable energy — another reason you can feel good about investing in the company.
The global building material company is making a difference one home at a time through its “Growing” program. The mission is to help build homes for impoverished families who meet specific criteria. As of 2016, the initiative has provided over 3 million people in Latin America with housing.
Chobani and its founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya help immigrants and refugees integrate into American life by providing them with jobs. About 30 percent of the Chobani workforce in the U.S. is made up of immigrants and refugees.
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The telecommunications company is changing lives around the world through educational training. The Cisco Networking Academy is a nonprofit program that trains underprivileged people in computer network administration. The program has reached 7.8 million students in over 170 countries.
Congenica is improving the health of patients by accurately diagnosing rare diseases. The company created a data analytics tool that analyzes patient DNA samples and compares them against known disease patterns, shortening the diagnosis time from months to hours.
Each year, Americans throw away about $60 million in gold and silver just from their unwanted phones alone. Dell has teamed up Nikki Reed to create a jewelry line made from gold recovered from computer motherboards. This is just one part of Dell’s pledge to repurpose 100 million pounds of recycled content into its product collection by 2020.
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Deloitte is preparing low-income students for futures that otherwise may not have been possible. Through RightStep Impact Venture, the firm encourages high school students to graduate and prepares them for college and ultimately a career.
16. Descartes Labs
It’s not easy to predict crop production globally — unless you’re Descartes Labs, that is. The company forecasts crop yields, which can help people in affected areas to properly prepare.
DSM is fighting malnutrition through the program Africa Improved Foods and has partnered with the Rwandan government and development agencies to boost the local food-processing industry. Another DSM project, “Clean Cow,” introduced a new feed ingredient with a 30 percent reduction in methane emissions, thus reducing greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.
The global utility company has pledged to fully decarbonise its production mix by 2050. It has also built Cerro Pabellón, the first geo-thermal plant in South America, and is developing innovative technologies including Vehicle-to-Grid that will turn cars into ‘batteries on wheels.’
19. Etho Capital
This investment management company is committed to sustainable practices. It’s behind the ETHO exchange-traded fund, which only lets companies that are conscientious about their carbon footprints to join.
Everlane is known for its commitment to ethical manufacturing. All of Everlane’s garments are made in factories that meet the most stringent quality standards — not only in terms of the clothes themselves, but also in the treatment of their employees.
21. General Electric
Once one of the largest producers of pollution, GE has come a long way. The company created a renewable energy strategy called Ecomagination, which develops commercial solutions to reduce the global environmental impact of resource productivity. As of 2017, GE had invested $20 billion in clean tech R&D through Ecomagination while generating $270 billion in revenue from its products.
GeniusFoods has found an innovative way to tackle world hunger and related problems. The organization transforms underused alternate crops into natural and functional ingredients.
This global healthcare company has committed to reinvest 20 percent of its profits back into the healthcare infrastructure of underdeveloped countries. The program aims to improve healthcare access for 20 million individuals by 2020.
IBM’s Watson, a cloud-based artificial intelligence technology system, is helping many industries make better use of large data sources. In the medical field, for example, oncologists use Watson to make more informed decisions in cancer research by easily sorting through millions of medical journals.
IBM has reinvented itself throughout its history, while still making profits.
ImiTec uses drones to monitor radiation levels during natural disasters, thereby keeping humans from potential harm. The ImiTec Autonomous Airborne Radiation Monitoring system provides low-altitude mapping of radioactive contamination.
JetBlue has pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1.5 percent per year between 2009 and 2020. The airline has also partnered with bioenergy company SG Preston to purchase 33 million gallons of renewable jet fuel per year.
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27. Johnson & Johnson
J&J continues to help pregnant women and new moms in India by providing preventative care information through mobile technology. Working in conjunction with the Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action as well as other agencies, the mMitra program sends voice calls twice a week to low-income Indian women with important health information.
JPMorganChase continues to invest in local economies, particularly in communities that need it most. Recently, the company promised to invest $40 million in underserved neighborhoods of Chicago with job skill training and neighborhood revitalization projects.
29. Land O’Lakes
Land O’Lakes launched a business unit to help farmers fight against agriculture pollution. The new technology assists farmers in finding the most likely spots for erosion and potential runoffs.
30. Levi Strauss
The business practices of Levi Strauss have been a role model for others in the retail industry. The company maintains a Working Well-being initiative, a partnership with suppliers and local organizations to implement financial empowerment, family health and well-being and the like for employees.
31. Lo3 Energy
This Brooklyn-based business is revolutionizing energy with the Brooklyn Microgrid (BMG), a clean, renewable energy source. BMG augments the traditional grid and lets participants use the community resources to generate, store, buy and sell energy at the local level.
Microsoft has lobbied the government to change the rural broadband gap within the next five years. Research shows nearly 24 million Americans in rural communities don’t have access to the internet. The company believes new technology and private capital investment can bring about change.
Microsoft is a good place to work, too. It pays some of the highest salaries to foreign workers working on an H-1B visa.
33. Nelson Byrd Woltz (NBW)
Through the Conservation Agriculture Studio at NBW, the landscape architecture firm has designed and completed many types of conservation lands, including native meadows, reconstructed wetlands, wildlife habitats and reforestations across the U.S. and New Zealand. In all, the organization has designed and enhanced over 50,000 acres.
Having already reduced the sugar content in its breakfast cereal portfolio, Nestle UK has promised to cut that number by an additional 10 percent by the end of 2018. The company has also made a global commitment to invest in renewable energy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Novartis offers affordable drug pricing to people in low-income countries who battle chronic disease. The cost to patients is $1 per treatment monthly. The program has reached nearly 400,000 patients since 2015.
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NVIDIA makes Artificial Intelligence cars possible with its DRIVE platform software. It gives autonomous vehicles the power to see, think, learn, navigate and accurately understand the 360-degree environment surrounding the car. According to Glassdoor, NVIDIA is one of the best tech companies to work for in 2018.
Osmo lets children combine physical play with real-time feedback via the use of iOS devices, free apps and responsive accessories such as tiles and blocks. More than 25,000 schools use Osmo to engage students in a way that makes learning fun.
38. Prime Five Homes
This Los Angeles-based real estate development company designs and builds modern, sustainable homes that use far less natural resources than traditional buildings. It donates 10 percent of every property sold directly to charity and plants five to 10 trees for every one it cuts down. Prime Five Homes doesn’t end there — for each home it builds, it gives money to build a home in a developing country.
Salesforce was founded under the idea that business can be the greatest platform for change. That’s why the company created the philanthropic concept known as 1-1-1 model, in which it donates 1 percent each of employee time, product and equity to help small businesses and nonprofits around the world.
Marc Benioff, the CEO of Salesforce, has helped change how we all live.
40. Spark Horizon
Spark Horizon built the first free charging network in Europe for electric cars. It’s funded by brands that purchase ad space on the chargers.
Tesla is focused on a zero-emission future by manufacturing all-electric vehicles and products that create and store clean energy. Everything with the brand is innovative and focused on stopping the world’s reliance on fossil fuels. Tesla is focused on social responsibility down to its core.
TOMS does more than make footwear. The company donates a portion of its revenues to provide shoes and vision care for those in need and anti-bullying initiatives for schools. In developing counties, it also maintains safe water systems and provides training for birth attendants to support women about to give birth.
Toyota created the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle Mirai, which is a huge environmental move when it comes to zero-emission cars.
Unilever has over 400 brands, with each committed to a sustainable business plan. The company holds WE Day events in Los Angeles and New York where people share ideas and encourage others to change the world. To date, 75,000 Kenyans have access to quality healthcare thanks to Unilever.
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Verily develops tools that combine data science and technology to advance the healthcare industry. Once the data is collected and organized, the company builds platforms to turn the data into actionable insights to support better holistic care management.
Creating environmentally friendly cars is at the forefront of Volvo’s business. Starting in 2019, each new Volvo vehicle will run on an electric motor — either a purely electric one or a hybrid — as the company moves away from the internal combustion engine.
Retail behemoth Walmart is committed to sustainability in its operations and a greener supply chain by urging its suppliers to stop using controversial chemicals such as formaldehyde. The company’s pursuits have inspired other companies such as Target to make similar moves. Walmart and Target frequently compete head-to-head. See which company has better prices on grocery store items.
This fertilizer company began an initiative to develop underutilized land areas in Africa to help with food production and agricultural development. The concept, known as the Agricultural Growth Corridors initiative, was created by Yara in 2008.
50. Zebra Medical Vision
Zebra Medical Vision is transforming the art of radiology in vision care. Radiologists use the company’s technology to detect diseases faster with by using its vast image library and categorization technology.
Please note photos are for illustrative purposes only. Some of the photos might not depict the companies listed in this article.
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About the Author
With a broadcast news career that spans more than a decade, Lia Sestric has had the opportunity to cover local and national news for television and radio. The Washington, D.C.-based writer has been freelance writing for a number of years. She frequently writes about higher education, careers, and finance. Along with GOBankingRates, her work has appeared on major sites like Yahoo, The Huffington Post, MSN and many other news outlets.