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December 24, 2010
Companies Ranked by Climate Counts Improve Scores by 14% in 2010
    by Robert Kropp

Nike again finishes first among companies ranked by scorecard that measures emissions reduction, public policy, and reporting.

Climate Counts, a nonprofit organization founded by Stonyfield Farm in 2007—the New Hampshire-based yogurt maker’s CEO, Gary Hirshberg, serves as Board Chair—has published its annual ranking of corporate climate change action. In a year during which US policymakers proved themselves unwilling or incapable of acting on climate change legislation, the rankings of Climate Counts provide a measure of solace, as the average score of the 90 companies included improved by 14%.

Companies ranked by Climate Counts are scored according to 22 criteria in four areas: review, reduce, policy stance, and report. The
scorecard used by the organization rewards companies for using such approaches as standardized protocols and third-party verification, executive-level responsibility for climate change strategy, supply chain engagement on the issue, and reporting through established third-party programs as the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) or the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).

In each of the four years of the rankings, the apparel company Nike has finished first. In 2010, Nike improved its overall score to 87 out of a possible 100 points, scoring especially well in the areas of policy stance and reporting. Nike, which resigned from the Board of Directors of the US Chamber of Commerce in 2009, is a member of
Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy (BICEP), a coalition of companies advocating for the passage of meaningful energy and climate change legislation. BICEP is a project of Ceres.

Other companies scoring more than 80 points include HP in electronics, and Stonyfield Farm and Unilever in food products. Companies in more energy-intensive sectors that scored relatively well were Anheuser-Busch and Molson Coors in beverages, Southwest in airlines, and UPS and Deutsche Post in consumer shipping.

Companies whose scores improved by more than 20 points since 2009 include CBS in media, Clorox in household products, Capital One and PNC Financial Services in banks, and Alaska Air in airlines.

Lest the reader be inclined to view the sector-leading score of Stonyfield Farms with some skepticism, given its relationship with Climate Counts, Hirshberg wrote in his 2008 book "Stirring It Up: How to Make Money and Save the World", "In our first annual audit, Stonyfield itself registered only in the 60s in our Climate Counts Scorecard…we now have an additional objective road map for how to prioritize our next investment."

Wood Turner, Climate Counts Executive Director, said, "Climate action may have bogged down in Washington, but these companies know they can build successful businesses while tackling the climate crisis."

Hirshberg added, "Corporations are asserting themselves into our political process as never before, and it's important that consumers know who's working against strong climate action."


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