September 21, 2009
Newsweek Publishes List of Top 500 Green Companies in US
by Robert Kropp
The mass-market publication uses research from KLD and Trucost to arrive at its rankings.
That a mass-market publication such as Newsweek has seen fit to rank the top 500 companies
in the US, based on their environmental performance, is welcome news for sustainability investors
and others who grow increasingly concerned that the political resolve to come to meaningful
agreement on climate change in Copenhagen in December is questionable.
Underscoring the importance of efforts to bring the issue of climate change to a general
audience in advance of the negotiations to occur in Copenhagen, Prime Minister Gordon Brown of the
United Kingdom wrote in Newsweek, "If we miss this opportunity, there will be no second chance
sometime in the future, no later way to undo the catastrophic damage to the environment we will
Of as much significance is the fact that Newsweek employed data from such
stalwarts of the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investment research sector as KLD Research & Analytics and Trucost, along with CorporateRegister.com, to arrive at its rankings.
KLD, an investment research firm that provides tools for the integration of ESG factors into
investment decisions, served as lead partner with Newsweek for the rankings. The firm's Green
Policy Score, based on its analysis of corporate environmental policies, programs and initiatives,
as well as negative environmental events, provided 45% of each company's overall score in the
Trucost, which provides data and analysis on company emissions and
natural resource usage, contributed the Environmental Impact Score for the Newsweek rankings,
capturing the total cost of over 700 environmental impacts of a corporation's global operations.
Trucost's Environmental Impact Score also provided 45% of each company's overall score.
Corporate Register.com, an online directory of corporate reporting on social responsibility,
sustainability and environmental performance, provided the Reputation Score for the rankings, which
counted for 10% of each company's overall score.
The top five performers in Newsweek's
rankings of the top 500 green companies in the US were Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Johnson & Johnson,
Intel, and IBM. The top performer among banks and insurance was Wells Fargo, which ranked
thirteenth overall. The top performer in the food and beverage sector was Coca-Cola, which finished
36th, and the top performer among health care companies was Baxter International, which ranked 35th