New Green Rankings in Newsweek, S&P 500


This is shaping up to be a big week for corporations seeking recognition for their sustainability efforts. Both the Carbon Disclosure Project, or CDP (which is affiliated with the S&P 500 Report) and Newsweek’s 2009 Green Rankings were released, both of which highlighted leaders in climate change and other sustainability endeavors. These reports’ figures could be a jumping-off point for measuring corporations’ transparency and eco-mindedness in years to come.

According to a PR Newswire report, the CDP results were announced in New York Sunday as part of New York Climate Week. The winners – US corporations showing efforts to tackle climate change – included Cisco Systems, Boing, Pepco Holdings, Consolidated Edison, E.I. du Pont de Nemours, Hewlett Packard, PPG Industries, and Transocean.

Newsweek’s top five companies were Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Johnson & Johnson, Intel, and IBM.

This year, the S&P 500 Report received 332 responses from corporations (a 64 percent increase from last year), including 260 disclosed corporate greenhouse gas emissions (up 6 percent) and 169 emissions reduction target responses (up 20 percent). Sixty-eight percent of respondents reported board or executive-level oversight for climate change measures (up 3 percent), and 215 percent more respondents than last year reported indirect emissions (i.e. emissions caused by supply chain and employee travel).

This year, the CDP also launched a new pilot performance scoring methodology, which measures corporations’ actual performance in responding to and reducing their contribution to climate change. In addition, the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI) rates companies by their level and quality of disclosure and reporting of climate change strategy and CO2 emissions. ((Among the companies scoring high on the CDLI were Comerica, Wal-Mart, Chevron, and PG&E.)

The CDP reportedly believes its new scoring system system will reward action (versus intention) and inform investors as to companies’ preparation for competition in a low-carbon infrastructure.

Sarah Harper is a professional writer based in San Francisco, California. Her interests include sustainability, government policy, and international politics. In her free time, Sarah enjoys toying with the idea of holistic health, overanalysis, and plotting world exploration.