So many companies are joining the worldwide push to go green. It’s thrilling to see so many brands and corporations taking up the green banner, and helping to make earth a healthier, happier place. Who are these companies and what exactly are they doing to “go green”? Some of the industries exploring the pursuit of eco-friendly business practices include, but are not limited to, the automobile industry, the finance industry, retailers, and technology companies–companies from every industry you can imagine. And the great news is that many of the brands joining up with the initiative are corporate giants poised perfectly to make a huge impact.

Car manufacturers like Toyota and Honda have have worked to produce innovations like the hydrogen fuel cell and models like the Prius, the world’s first mass-market hybrid vehicle.

Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and KKR are a few financial companies that have taken on the challenge to go green as well. While Bank of America worked to reduce paper use by 32% from 2000-2005, Goldman Sachs has made $1.5 million worth of investments in solar, ethanol, and wind markets. These environmentally sustainable victories caused private equity heavyweight KKR to get on board with their own plan to go green, with special concentrations on monitoring greenhouse gas emissions, water usage, waste, priority chemicals, and forest resources.

Similarly, retailers like Target and Walmart have taken the plunge into eco-friendly practices. While Target has taken this philosophy straight to its store shelves with plans to launch an “eco-clothing” line, Walmart has developed an ambitious, long-term plan to eventually power each of its stores using 100% renewable energy sources.

Even hard-hitting computer companies like Hewlett-Packard and Dell are jumping on the bandwagon. Not only has HP has been proactive in pioneering its own e-waste sites that properly dispose by shredding discarded, obsolete computer products into raw materials that can be recycled, it also reduce energy consumption 20% by 2010. By installing the “no computer should go to waste” recycling program, Dell allows customers to return any of its products to the store free of charge, and also accepts monitors and printers from other brands.

Environmentally friendly business practices are not just smart to preserve the environment, they also spur business and improve client sentiments toward companies. Companies that have not employed such green business practices should observe these models and jump on board–the rest of the world is waiting for you! Whether a corporate giant or a mom-and-pop shop, it’s time to develop that green thumb.