MANCHESTER, NH - December 7, 2010 - Climate Counts scores improved 14% over 2009 according to its latest review of 90 top companies’ climate commitment. Nike had the top score for the third straight year but other companies are closing the gap; eleven companies now score over 75 points out of a possible 100.
“There’s an emerging top tier of innovative companies leading on climate,” said Wood Turner, Climate Counts Executive Director. “Climate action may have bogged down in Washington, but these companies know they can build successful businesses while tackling the climate crisis.”
Significant improvement is the important story this year. Five “surging” companies improved their scores by 20 or more points—led by commercial bank PNC Financial Services’ 40-point improvement. Since Climate Counts' first scores were launched in 2007, the average company score has improved from 31 points to 50.1 points.
“Corporate climate commitment has graduated. It is now the norm for well-managed, forward-thinking businesses,” said Turner. “We’re excited about that 50-point milestone. When we launched four years ago, we issued a clear challenge, and companies appear ready to see the leadership bar raised.”
In support of its annual release of scores, Climate Counts has launched a Striding Shopper campaign, challenging consumers to make their holiday purchases from companies scoring over 50 total points. In addition this holiday season, Climate Counts’ free iPhone app is featured in New York City’s Wired store through the end of the year.
Each year, Climate Counts scores the largest companies (by revenue) in sixteen industry sectors on their actions to address climate change (scores for four other sectors were released early this year). The companies are scored on a 0-to-100 point scale based on 22 criteria that measure companies’ efforts to assess their own climate footprint, reduce their emissions, support (or block) progress on major climate legislation, and communicate their efforts clearly and comprehensively to consumers.
This is the first Climate Counts scorecard release since the U.S. Senate failed to pass climate and energy legislation that had previously cleared the House of Representatives. Corporations and corporate associations played a major role in its failure, spending hundreds of millions of dollars spent in opposition lobbying. This year, Climate Counts is recognizing a distinguished group of 21 of its scored companies for their vocal support of for climate policy that would lead to reduction in global warming pollution. These companies come from nine of the 12 sectors with newly updated scores, and include businesses from The Gap, which supported the defeat of California’s anti-alternative energy voter referendum Proposition 23 and actively educated its employees on the reasons it considered the initiative bad for business and job growth, to Starbucks which has used traditional marketing to inform consumers of its support for strong climate and energy legislation.
“As Climate Counts evolves,” said board chair Gary Hirshberg, “it will become increasingly important that it look closely at the role companies play in positively or negatively influencing climate policy. 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.”
This year’s Climate Counts sector leaders are as follows:
- Airlines: Southwest Airlines
- Apparel: Nike
- Commercial Banks: Bank of America
- Beverages/Beer: Anheuser-Busch InBev
- Consumer Shipping: UPS
- Electronics: Hewlett-Packard
- Food Products: (tie) Stonyfield Farm, Unilever
- Food Services: Starbucks
- Hotels: Marriott
- Household Products: L’Oreal
- Internet/Software: Microsoft
- Media: General Electric*
A report and the full docket of the latest Climate Counts company scores are available atwww.climatecounts.org. The non-profit organization also has a voluntary scoring and benchmarking program -- called Climate Counts Industry Innovators (i2) -- and plans to announce new qualifying members in early 2011.
About Climate Counts
Climate Counts is a non-profit organization bringing consumers and companies together in the fight against global climate change. Launched with financial support from organics pioneer Stonyfield Farm, the Climate Counts Company Scorecard was developed with oversight from a panel of business and climate experts from leading non-governmental organizations and academic institutions. Criteria were chosen for their effectiveness at accomplishing a single goal – solving the global climate crisis. Since 2007, Climate Counts researchers have used these criteria to now rate the climate actions of nearly 150 companies (representing approximately 3,000 brands) in 16 industry sectors. Companies are given the opportunity to confirm or provide public data sources. Information on all scored companies is available at www.climatecounts.org
* General Electric is a conglomerate with major holdings in this sector and others. In the event that it no longer maintains its holdings in this sector, it will appear in a different sector in future scores from Climate Counts.