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Most Climate-Responsible Companies Revealed; Scores up 54% in 4 Years

Unilever has bumped Nike from its perch as the top company for climate responsibility, in the Climate Counts 2011 review.

After holding the top spot for three years, Nike falls to fourth in the rankings, which also show that average Climate Count scores have improved 54 percent since 2007, with nearly two-thirds of companies improving their standing from 2010.

AstraZeneca comes second, up seven places from 2010, and Timberland rises four spots to third. Nike is followed by Siemens, Hewlett-Packard, Stonyfield Farm, Bank of America, IBM, Baxter International, UPS, Sony, AB Electrolux and Nokia.

The fifth annual scorecard assesses 136 companies in 16 sectors. Climate Counts scored the largest companies by revenue in each industry, judging their actions to address climate change, using 22 criteria and a 100-point scale. The criteria measure a company’s efforts to assess its climate footprint, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, support progress on climate legislation, and communicate their efforts clearly and comprehensively to consumers.

Climate Counts says it is most encouraged by the movement at the top end of the rankings this year, with 13 companies scoring 80 points or higher – more than triple the number in 2010.

But 23 companies scored under ten points, compared to just eight last year. Climate Counts classed 26 companies as “stuck”, with scores from 0-13. Of these six – Chelsea & Scott, Chicco, Evenflo, Peg Perego, Playmates, Tempur-Pedic – scored 0. Other well-known companies in the “stuck” category include Amazon, Liz Claiborne, Viacom, Burger King, Wendy’s Arby’s, Sun Trust and Sky Tran.

Climate Counts says that Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan, which identifies pan-corporate opportunities to increase efficiency and reduce emissions, exemplifies the integrate approach that industry leaders are increasingly adopting.

Last week the Sustainable Living Plan won Unilever the Grand Prix at the 2011 International Green Awards in London.ambitious. The plan, launched just over one year ago, includes goals to cut the environmental footprint of Unilever’s products in half, sustainably source 100 percent of its agricultural raw materials, and help 1 billion people improve their health and well-being.

This year’s Climate Counts sector leaders are as follows:

  • Airlines: Southwest Airlines (55)
  • Apparel/Accessories: Nike (85)
  • Beverages – Beer: Anheuser-Busch (57)
  • Commercial Banks: Bank of America (82)
  • Consumer Shipping: UPS (80)
  • Electronics: Hewlett-Packard (83)
  • Food Products: Unilever (88)
  • Food Services: Starbucks (70)
  • Home and Office Furnishings: Herman Miller and Masco (63)
  • Hotels: Marriott (73)
  • Household Products: L’Oreal (78)
  • Internet/Software: Microsoft (68)
  • Large Appliances: AB Electrolux (80)
  • Media: General Electric (77)
  • Pharmaceuticals: AstraZeneca (86)
  • Toys & Children’s Equipment: Hasbro (52)
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