Earth Day has been celebrated since 1970 and the conservation of the planet has never been stronger in the cultural zeitgeist. This year the celebration gives us a chance to reflect on sustainability and the impact major corporations have on the environment. Over the last few decades, companies have answered the call and taken initiatives to mitigate their environmental impact and reach global sustainability goals. This month’s trailblazers will focus on executives who have led their companies in ensuring a better tomorrow for the planet.

Our first trailblazer comes from an unlikely industry, convenience stores. Marissa Jarratt is the Executive VP and Chief Sustainability and Marketing Officer of 7-Eleven. 7-Eleven is a massive franchise that spans the U.S. and nineteen countries. That large footprint means that the company carries considerable weight when it comes to environmental impact. Thankfully, Jarratt has spent her tenure investing in energy and sustainability initiatives that focus on waste reduction. The company has retrofitted all stores with LED lighting and high-efficiency HVAC units to reduce energy consumption, which is incredibly important for stores that run 24 hours a day. Jarratt has overseen the reduction of annual CO2 emissions by 300K metric tons and decrease their annual electricity usage by 21 percent. Being a convenience store that specializes in to-go products, the company has invested in improved environmentally friendly packaging for their products.

Our next executive hails from the grocery industry, Bryan Palbaum, CEO of Trader Joe’s. Trader Joe’s is an incredibly popular neighborhood grocery chain that focuses on higher end organic options. Before taking over as CEO last year, Palbaum served as Chief Operations Officer and has been with the company for over 20 years. The brand is committed to serving food with no artificial flavors or preservatives and their seafood selection is comprised of fish that have been deemed sustainable. Palbaum has also removed more than one million pounds of plastic from store shelves. The company has removed the plastic packaging from most produce and replaced Styrofoam trays with renewable options.

Our last trailblazer comes from IKEA, Pär Stenmark, Sustainability Manager. IKEA is a global home furnishing retailer that specializes in home assembly furniture with a side of Swedish meatballs. IKEA has massive locations doubling as warehouses that require extensive lighting to showcase products and the company has replaced their entire lighting structure with LEDs. The company is also working to achieve 100% renewable energy by equalizing their levels of consumption and production. Stenmark has also pledged $1billion for climate action. The company also maintains their own responsibly managed forests and uses sustainably sourced cotton.

Being an environmentally conscious company is more important than ever and the trailblazers we’ve spotlighted today have put their businesses at the forefront of change. The future for every industry lies in sustainability and with some of the world’s most influential organizations leading the charge, anything is possible. These trailblazers have shown that there are many avenues for protecting the Earth, from energy efficient lighting, reusable packaging, and sustainably sourced materials and food. Today we celebrate Earth Day and the possibility of a healthier planet tomorrow.