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October 22, 2012
2012 Newsweek Green Rankings Published
    by Robert Kropp

With research provided by Sustainalytics and Trucost, this year's Green Rankings note a 20% improvement in companies disclosing environmental information.

The annual Newsweek Green Rankings were published today, and the most heartening indication of their influence may be found in the observation that 85% of the companies included disclose some level of detail on environmental information. The number represents a 20% increase over last year.

One factor that helps validate the Green Rankings is Newsweek's choice of research partners. Both
Sustainalytics and Trucost are highly regarded by sustainable investors for the quality of their environmental research. Trucost provides publicly disclosed environmental data for the Environmental Impact Scores in the Rankings, while analysis by Sustainalytics forms the basis for corporate Environmental Management Scores.

Both research firms contribute equally to the Environmental Disclosure Scores, which assess companies' transparency in reporting on environmental performance.

Remarking on the improved environmental disclosure by companies, James Salo of Trucost stated, "Since the launch of Newsweek's Green Rankings in 2009 we have had thousands of conversations with companies seeking to provide information about their environmental performance. By improving the transparency on their environmental performance, companies are becoming more responsible for its improvement. This is an important step towards reducing environmental impact and risk."

Disclosure by emerging markets companies increased by about 8% in 2012, and three emerging markets companies— Banco Santander and Banco Bradesco from Brazil, and Wipro, an Indian information technology company—topped the list of global green corporations. IBM, which finished second last year, and National Australia Bank round out the top five. The Swiss insurer Munich Re fell from first in 2011 to seventh this year

In the US, the top three green companies in 2011—IBM, Hewlett Packard, and Sprint Nextel—remained atop the list in 2012, joined in the top five by Dell and CA Technologies. IBM was cited for its Smarter Planet products, which "help clients measure and reduce their resource consumption."

And the worst-performing US company? BlackRock, the financial services giant, which is a signatory to the United Nations'
Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). "BlackRock's disclosure on environmental issues is considered poor," the assessment states. Also, "BlackRock lags in disclosing details on assets under its management that are considered 'responsible investments,' and has "failed to sufficiently integrate companywide environmental policies and programs."

A survey of mutual fund voting on resolutions addressing climate change found that BlackRock supported fewer than five percent of the climate resolutions on which it voted in 2011.


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