Going Green and Growing Fast
Lean and Greeng2 RevolutionGreen Earth e-CycleGarbageMan, a Green CompanyWastren AdvantageGreenCupboardsOrigAudio
Many companies on this year's Inc. 5000 list not only run environmentally-friendly operations, but also help other businesses and consumers do the same. Here's a look at seven of them.-- Em Maier
Three-Year Growth: 455.2%
2012 Revenue: $4.2 million
g2 Revolution creatives innovative recycling programs for businesses. Case in Point: It developed a program for Dog Hair, a pet retailer and dog groomer, that consisted of collecting shorn dog hair and spin it into a wool blend that was knit into dog sweaters. The company, which was founded by Billy Watterson in Lake in the Hills, Illinois, in 2008, has clients such as Keurig and GOJO.
Three-Year Growth: 1,350.4%
2012 Revenue: $7.7 million
Green Earth of Iselin, New Jersey works with businesses to promote sustainability by leveraging technology and social media. It creates web-based event management and recycling and car-pooling apps, among other services. The company, which was founded by Suresh Kumar in 2006, also advises local government and educational institutions on green technology.
Three-Year Growth: 622%
2012 Revenue: $19.4 million
These days, most people upgrade their cell phones once a year, if not more often. e-cycle helps corporations reuse and recycle employee phones and produce new revenue through buyback programs. "The evolution of the computer into smartphones and tablets has caused corporations to look at those assets as their responsibility," says Tonia Irion, who co-founded the New Albany, Ohio business in 2005.
Three-Year Growth: 2018.3%
2012 Revenue: $8.9 million
Founded in 2008 by Andy Sorensen, this eco-friendly garbage-hauling franchise picks up trash and recycling for commercial and residential customers in more than 40 cities. The Plymouth, Minnesota service's small, fuel-efficient trucks pick up both trash and recycling in one trip. Customer-centric touches such as electronic billing and e-newsletters also set apart GarbageMan from the competition.
Three-Year Growth: 737.5%
2012 Revenue: $68.8 million
Wastren, which was founded in Piketon, Ohio, in 2001, provides a variety of services, including waste management, decontamination, and facility management, to commercial and federal clients. Last year, Wastren acquired Geo-Tech Polymers, a business that recycles coated plastics. "This generation of companies is much more concerned about taking preventive measures," says CEO Steve Moore.
Three-Year Growth: 2,898%
2012 Revenue: $13.1 million
GreenCupboards operates an online store stocked with more than 15,000 eco-friendly products (think stainless steel lunch boxes and electric scooters). CEO Josh Neblett, who co-founded the company in Spokane, Washington, in 2008, says the site is geared toward consumers who want to buy green products, but can't find them easily.
Three-Year Growth: 1,423.3%
2012 Revenue: $3.6 million
Drawing inspiration from Chinese food boxes, Jason Lucash and Mike Szymczak created speakers that are made from recycled materials and fold flat. Since Lucash and Szymczak founded OrigAudio in Costa Mesa, California, their 3-inch-tall Fold N'Play speakers have appeared on Time magazine’s 50 Best Inventions of the Year list and the reality show Shark Tank. OrigAudio now sells a variety of electronic gadgets.