Santander Brasil, Indian IT firm Wipro, Brazilian financial company Bradesco and US-based IBM topped this year’s Newsweek Green Rankings for global companies, while Singapore food company Wilmar, Coal India and agribusiness giant Monsanto took the bottom spots in the annual environmental ranking of the 500 largest publicly traded companies in the world.
Among the 500 largest US companies, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Sprint Nextel, Dell and CA Technologies lead the pack. IBM, HP and Sprint maintained their ranking from last year, while Dell moved up one spot to No. 4. IBM, HP and Dell have been in the top five of Newsweek’s Green Ranking since the inaugural list was published in 2009.
In the US, the bottom five are financial firm BlackRock, energy company Alpha Natural Resources, CF Industries Holdings, T. Rowe Price Group and Monsanto.
Companies are ranked by their overall green score, which is determine from three components: an environmental impact score (45 percent), environmental management score (45 percent) and a disclosure score (10 percent).
A number of companies made notable movements up or down in the US ranking since 2011, including Target, which moved up 151 spots to No. 85. The retailer broke into the top 100 ranking due to its efforts to implement formal environmental impact-reduction targets, including reducing waste by 15 percent, water use per square foot of office space by 10 percent and greenhouse gas emissions per sales dollar by 20 percent, Newsweek said.
Other companies that moved up in the US ranking includes Southwest Airlines, which jumped 153 spots to No. 129; Coca-Cola, which moved from 289 to 155; and Goodyear Tire & Rubber, which went from No. 252 to No. 74 on the list.
Apple’s green score was negatively affected, dropping 68 spots to No. 118, because of its resistance to participating in public reporting via the Carbon Disclosure Project for the second straight year.
Other companies that made significant drops in the ranking since 2011 includes Clorox, which fell 76 spots to hit No. 288, because its direct greenhouse gas emissions increased 10 percent in 2011 even as revenue decreased; and Caterpillar, which slipped from 144 to 252 in 2012, in part due to weaker public disclosure practices, Newsweek said.
Newsweek produces the annual green rankings with environmental research organizations Trucost and Sustainalytics. The green rankings methodology and weightings were developed in consultation with an advisory panel convened by Newsweek. This year’s panel includes top executives and directors from Volans, SustainAbility, Tellus Institute, Environmental Defense Fund and The Conference Board.