Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Johnson & Johnson, Intel and IBM are the top five leaders in Newsweek’s inaugural environmental rankings of America’s 500 largest corporations.
The Green Rankings were the result of collaboration among environmental researchers KLD Research & Analytics, Trucost, and CorporateRegister.com that ranked the 500 largest U.S. companies based on their environmental performance, policies and reputations.
More than half of companies’ overall Green Scores are based on their environmental policies and reputation, and industry-neutral metrics that helped even the playing field for companies in carbon-intensive businesses, said Newsweek.
Newsweek also used data from Trucost, which has developed a system for estimating emissions of companies that fail to provide them.
Here’s a quick rundown on Newsweek’s top five rankings.
Hewlett-Packard earned its number one position due to its greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction programs, and was the first major IT company to report GHG emissions associated with its supply chain, according to the ranking. In addition, HP has made an effort to remove toxic substances from its products, though Greenpeace has targeted the company for not doing better.
Dell, which comes in at number two, ranks fourth among the top U.S. corporate users of renewable energy, and leads the industry with its product take-back and recycling programs. Its headquarters uses 100 percent renewable energy and all its desktop and laptop computers will consume up to 25 percent less energy by 2010, according to the ranking. Dell became carbon neutral in 2008 by using offsets and other methods and plans to maintain its carbon neutrality for the next five years, according to the report.
At number three, Johnson & Johnson has a strong environmental management strategy in place. The company also touts the largest fleet of hybrid vehicles in the world. However, it’s a top emitter of toxic pollutants compared to other companies within its industry, according to the report.
Intel, ranked number four, is the largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy in the U.S., which is equivalent to 46 percent of the company’s U.S. energy use. Rather than focusing solely on increasing speed, Intel aims to reduce energy consumption of its chips.
Rounding out the top five is IBM, which has had formal environmental policies since 1971, according to the ranking. IBM is the only company to receive EPA’s Climate Protection Award twice. IBM participated in a pilot program to reduce Stockholm’s traffic congestion, which led to 40 percent decrease in inner-city greenhouse gases, according to the report. London is next. The company is spending $1 billion a year to double the capacity of data centers by 2010 without increasing their power consumption.
The green ranking also evaluates the top 500 companies by sector. Here are a few examples. The top three companies in the food and beverage industry are Coca-Cola Enterprises, Coca-Cola, and Brown-Forman; the top three retailers are Kohl’s, Staples and The Gap Inc.; the top three utilities are PG&E, Pepco Holdings and Northeast Utilities and the top three health care companies are Baxter International, Medtronic and Becton-Dickinson.
Click here for the complete ranking.