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Autodesk, Sharp, Itron, Henkel Among 10 ‘Greenest’ Public Companies

stock ticker greenAfter a review of more than 2,000 companies, mutual fund Portfolio 21 has identified what it considers to be the 10 greenest publicly traded companies in the world, according to a press release.

Here’s a look at the list (in alphabetical order).

Autodesk – This developer of software that facilitates sustainable building practices earned kudos because its software helps decrease waste and impacts of design processes by cutting paper consumption. Autodesk is working with the U.S. Green Building Council to integrate its technology with the LEED system.

East Japan Railway – The company introduced reduced-weight railcars, developed a hybrid prototype train, and is installing solar and wind systems at some of its “eco stations.” The rail firm also is promoting inter-modal shipping to reduce supply chain emissions.

Henkel – This German firm produces a range of bio-based detergents and adhesives, with more than two-thirds of its products’ formulations based on renewable raw materials.

Itron –  Providing metering, data collection and software solutions to optimize resources for 8,000 utilities worldwide, U.S.-based Itron has built a metering infrastructure that enables end-use customers to participate in demand response and energy conservation programs.

Natura Cosmeticos – This Brazilian cosmetics company is known for its use and discovery of new and sustainable natural resources.

Potlatch –  Potlatch is emerging as a leader in the U.S. sustainable forestry industry after achieving Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification for all its forestlands (about half of its total fiber needs).

Red Electrica – Has promoted renewable energy transmission lines in Spain which is second-largest European wind-power producer and expects to have wind farms producing 13,000 megawatts by 2011.

Sharp – Sharp has focused on producing electronics that offer energy efficiency, resource efficiency and ease of recycling. Sharp is a leading supporter of e-waste recycling in the United States. Sharp classifies its manufacturing facilities as “super green” or “green.”

Umicore – This Belgian basic materials company is the world’s leading recycler of precious metals and about half of its revenues are generated through products that provide direct environmental benefits, such as materials for rechargeable batteries and fuel cells.

Vestas – This Dutch wind energy firm has a “clear sustainability strategy” based on manufacturing equipment and operating facilities for the renewable energy sector.

Rating of corporate sustainability or “greenness” is an ongoing and evolving practice.

A recent consumer study shows that there is a gap between real and perceived sustainability action by top North American brands including Kraft, General Mills, Kellogg, Groupe Danone, Nike, Gap, P&G, L’Oreal, Microsoft and Amazon.com.

For instance, General Mills, Kraft and Kellogg are perceived to be more sustainable than their actual environmental record would suggest.

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