A-lab

These corporations might not have tons of fans in the environmental movement, but you wouldn't know that looking at their idealistic architecture choices.

Corporate behemoths are aware of the love/hate feelings nurtured by many of their customers. Perhaps that's why they spend so much money and effort building headquarters that are shining beacons of earth-friendly architecture. We're talking hundreds of acres of sloping, verdant hills, burbling streams and weeping willows, zig-zagging grass roofs and vertical, enclosed gardens. The public face of these petroleum giants is so green that William McDonough would do the Dougie with joy.

From the “mountain-water garden” aesthetic of the new Chevron HQ in Nanjing to the sprawling lawns of Exxon's campus in Houston, an exemplar of "high standards of energy efficiency and environmental stewardship," there's no trace of petro-stink on any of these buildings. You can see a few beautiful examples in the slideshow below. For fun, we've also tossed in the vegetation-festooned headquarters of Weyerhaeuser, a huge logging company based near Seattle, and the Belarusian Potash Company in Minsk (potash is a main ingredient in chemical fertilizers).

Slideshow assembled by Mark Byrnes and John Metcalfe

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Tech workers sit around a table on their laptops in San Francisco, California
    Life

    America’s Tech Hubs Still Dominate, But Some Smaller Cities Are Rising

    Despite established urban tech hubs, some smaller cities are attracting high-tech jobs with lower living costs, unique talent pools, and geographic diversity.

  2. Two men plant a young tree in a lot in Detroit.
    Environment

    Why Detroit Residents Pushed Back Against Tree-Planting

    Detroiters were refusing city-sponsored “free trees.” A researcher found out the problem: She was the first person to ask them if they wanted them.

  3. a photo of a man surveying a home garage.
    Transportation

    How Single-Family Garages Can Ease California's Housing Crisis

    Given the affordable housing crisis, California cities should encourage single-family homeowners to convert garages into apartments and accessory dwelling units.

  4. A man charges an electric bus in Santiago, Chile.
    Transportation

    The Verdict's Still Out on Battery-Electric Buses

    As cities experiment with battery-powered electric buses, some are finding they struggle in inclement weather or on hills, or that they don’t have enough range.

  5. People standing in line with empty water jugs.
    Environment

    Cape Town’s ‘Day Zero’ Water Crisis, One Year Later

    In spring 2018, news of the water crisis in South Africa ricocheted around the world—then the story disappeared. So what happened?