The phrase “Big Hat, No Cattle” defines the tone of the “Global Corporate Sustainability Report 2013” released last week by the UN Global Compact.   It appears that while many companies world-wide are giving ardent lip service to the benefits of sustainable operations by setting goals and adopting policies, few are actually implementing these policies into their business strategies and operations.

The report surveyed more than 2,000 companies in 113 countries, and covered a broad swath of sustainability issues, such as social inclusion and human rights, transparency and accountability, as well as environmental stewardship and energy efficiency.

The findings in a nut shell: Big companies have an easier time implementing sustainability policies across the board than do small companies, and achieving compliance from supply chains is a bear for everyone regardless of size.

Even though the report was global in nature and covers all aspects of sustainability, it paints an accurate picture of the reality of the state of responsible corporation action found throughout the United States with respect to environmental stewardship.

When it comes to sustainability, few companies and organizations are actually doing what they say is important.  That is precisely why we should celebrate the handful of pioneers that are truly putting their money where their mouth is.

H-E-B Mueller

San Antonio based retailer, H-E-B, is one of these pioneers.  Well known for their innovation and community service, H-E-B has set the standard in eco-friendly retail design by opening their most environmentally friendly store to date, the H-E-B at Mueller in Austin, Texas.

Serving as a test store, the location contains multiple innovative and environmentally sustainable components that will be analyzed as H-E-B strives to provide a great shopping experience, all while lowering their carbon footprint.

Meridian is proud to have designed and constructed the 129 kW roof mounted solar electric system, which is one of the many energy efficient elements of the store.  We have been preaching green for more than a decade, and to partner with a company like H-E-B who shares these values couldn’t make us happier.

You can learn more about all the innovative initiatives by visiting, or taking a look at Partners In Shine .

Better yet, go down to 1801 E.51st in Austin see for yourself.

As people who espouse the benefits of sustainability, it is important for us not to fall into the “Big Hat, No Cattle” camp.  To bring about a movement toward widespread adoption of sustainable operating practices in the business world, we as consumers must take action and demonstrate commitment toward sustainable practices individually.  The best way to do this is to actively support those companies and organizations that are implementing sustainability measures into their operations.  Action brings change.

I’ll close with another bovine reference: “Money talks and bu ……” well, you know the rest.

Now go buy some groceries!