Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Newsweek Green Rankings_Top 500 Companies

Newsweek just published an article and first ever Green Rankings of the top 500 companies in the USA. It's an interesting list of who's who in corporate america and has a distinctly Main Street focus. I did a quick scan of the list and found companies absent I'd expect to see somewhere on it. This gives me pause to reflect about the companies I'm aware of here in Vermont and in our region. Pretty much none of them showed up. You know the one's you'd might expect in the Corporate Social Responsibility space.
Be that as it may this is an interesting effort. Ratings such as these will most definitely provoke controversey and discussion. And if this mainstream media ranking takes hold perhaps it could be a driver of sorts to move sustainability forward. I know of no other truly mass media ranking like it's a beginning at this larger scale.
Newsweek has an article explaining its methodology and the partners it consulted with to assist them in measuring and verification leading to the ranking. You should check it out. One interesting anecdote, I listened to a recent Treehugger radio podcast where they interviewed a deputy editor who helped manage the effort at Newsweek. She said if they knew how much work it would prove to be they might have reconsidered the article and ranking effort. They learned a ton along the way but it was very, very hard work and difficult to figure out how to measure efforts, compare and rank companies. This is no surprise. Green isn't easy. When you tackle systems based issues with all of their interconnectedness it's hard slogging. Kudos for Newsweek to jump into the fire pit along with the other less well known dancers who've been there for a while already.

The top 10, then 100,200 etc... are as follows:
1. Hewlett-Packard
2. Dell
3. Johnson & Johnson
4. Intel
5. IBM
6. State Street
7. Nike
8. Briston-Meyers Squibb
9. Applied Materials
10. Starbucks
100. Marathon Oil
200. Costco Warehouse
300. Shaw Group
400. C.R. Bard
500. Peobody Energy

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