GE, Alcoa, Johnson Controls, Ford and Intel lead their peers in the innovation of clean-tech solutions and products, mitigation of climate change-related risks and management of carbon emissions, according to a rating by risk analysis company Maplecroft.
The Maplecroft Climate Innovation Indexes (CIIs) studied 360 large, multinational U.S. companies and how they adapt to climate-change issues. Maplecroft rated each company against more than 100 criteria, including: innovation in technologies and working practices to combat the onset of climate change, management of physical climate-related issues, adaptation to climate-related risks such as flooding and extreme weather events in the supply chain, and the reduction of GHG emissions.
GE topped the list for the third time in the three CII cycles.
GE has a dedicated sustainable business research strategy, “ecomagination,” through which it has invested $5 billion in clean tech R&D over five years, according to Maplecroft. These investments, which have focused increasingly on solutions to address climate challenges, have generated $100 billion in revenues and are reported by GE to be growing at more than twice the rate of those in the rest of the company. Innovations have included waste-to-value solutions, smart-grid technologies, wind turbines, and other alternative energy innovations.
The company has also recorded consecutive and substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions since 2006, and has saved $140 million from its own energy bill, the CII said.
Alcoa, Johnson Controls and Ford maintain their places in the top five from last year, while Intel climbed three places to feature as the fifth best performing company. Each of the top five was also the best scoring company in its sector. Other industry leaders were Hess (6th overall) for oil and gas, Air Products (7th) for chemicals, Covanta (11th) for energy, PG&E (12th) for utilities, and Goldman Sachs (13th) in the financial sector.
In March, GE, Alcoa, Johnson Controls, Ford and Intel also made Ethisphere’s “Most Ethical Companies” list for 2012.