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Smart ways companies are helping the planet

Environmentally friendly companies

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A sustainable business model

These days it seems de rigueur for corporate websites to have sections on social responsibility and sustainability where companies can espouse their commitments to reductions in waste, packaging and emissions, and their efforts to find parts and ingredients in a socially responsible way.

But without concrete stories being shared, the reader's eyes may glaze over and the words may ring hollow.

However, many major brands have some cooland at times unexpectedpolicies and programs in place that are making an impact in the real world.

Naturally, in addition to the environmental benefits, it's good for a company's bottom line if its programs or policies result in positive publicity, raised awareness and improved brand perception—all steps that can bring in new customers.

Here are 10 such examples of well-known companies making headway toward helping to reduce their carbon footprints and aid the environment.

By Colleen Kane, special to CNBC
Posted 26 Sept. 2014

Kohei Hara | Getty Images