Charles’ Coalition, Green Rankings & Carbon Offsets

Charles’ Coalition, Green Rankings & Carbon Offsets

A coalition of more than 500 international companies, brought together by Britain’s Prince Charles,  urges rich countries to commit to “immediate and deep” cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. Newsweek’s first-ever  Green Rankings has Hewlett-Packard in the top spot, while  a survey of 300 global companies gives a snapshot of corporate attitudes toward the voluntary carbon market and the role of carbon offsets.

Peter Griffiths for Reuters World Environment News (22 September 2009):

LONDON – A coalition of more than 500 international companies on Tuesday urged rich countries to commit to “immediate and deep” cuts in greenhouse gas emissions at U.N. climate talks to help combat global warming.

The group of some of the world’s biggest energy companies, retailers and manufacturers said a failure to agree a strong new climate deal at U.N. talks in Copenhagen in December would erode confidence and cut investment in low-carbon technology.

In a statement issued as nations met for a climate summit at the United Nations in New York, the coalition said economic development will be impossible without a stable climate.

“These are difficult and challenging times for the international business community and a poor outcome from…Copenhagen will only make them more so,” it said.

“If a sufficiently ambitious, effective and globally equitable deal can be agreed, it will…deliver the economic signals that companies need if they are to invest billions of dollars in low carbon products, services, technologies and infrastructure.”

The statement was issued by companies who back a campaign by Britain’s Prince Charles, heir to the throne and environmental campaigner, to press for new government policies on climate change and “to grasp the business opportunities created by moving to a low climate-risk economy.”

Members of the prince’s Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change include Britain’s largest retailer Tesco, German insurer Allianz and Royal Dutch Shell, Europe’s largest oil company by market value. Launched in 2005, it is managed for the prince by the University of Cambridge.

Disagreements between rich and poor countries over emissions caps and how much money emerging economies should receive to cope with climate change have hampered preliminary talks before the U.N. negotiations in the Danish capital.

The business group urged nations to set aside their differences and confront climate change with the same urgent, joint approach they took during the economic crisis.

“Developed countries need to take on immediate and deep emission reduction commitments that are much higher than the global average,” the statement added.


By GreenBiz Staff

Published September 21, 2009

NEW YORK CITY, NY — In Newsweek’s first-ever  Green Rankings, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Intel and IBM take up four of the top five slots; Johnson & Johnson is the only non-technology company in the top five.

The magazine’s list, which is made up of the 500 most valuable companies in the United States, was a joint project between Newsweek staffers and KLD Research and Analytics, the lead partner on the project, Trucost and Companies’ scores are developed by combining an Environmental Impact Score, a Green Policies Score and a Reputation Score for an overall Green Score.

In this year’s rankings, HP scored a perfect 100, Dell earned 98.97 and J&J scored 98.56. 

Unsurprisingly, oil and gas companies rank very low on the list, made up of the 500 most valuable companies in the United States. Three oil companies — Peabody Energy, NRG Energy and Allegheny Energy — round out the last three companies, with ranks of 500, 499, and 498, and overall “Green Scores” of 1.00, 22.75 and 25.04, respectively.
“If you rank companies solely on their environmental footprint or impact, certain industries would dominate that list,” Peter Bernstein, one of the founders of ASAP Media, which worked with Newsweek on developing the rankings, told executive editor Joel Makower.

“[T]echnology, health care, banking — they all don’t have as great as environmental impact as other industries. So, we had to adjust that with intentions and an industry bias.”

In addition to ranking firms based on their overall Green Score, Newsweek’s list also breaks out results by industry sector. Among the results from those rankings include: Wells Fargo, Citigroup and Travelers at the top of the Banking and Insurance group; Coca Cola Enterprises, Coca Cola, and Brown-Forman in the top three spots for Food & Beverage; Baxter International, Medtronic, and Becton Dickinson at the top of the Healthcare section; United Technologies, UPS and FedEx in the top spots of Transportation and Aerospace; and Kohl’s Staples and Gap taking top rankings for Retail.

Below is a list of the top 20 companies in Newsweek’s Green Rankings. For more coverage, read these two articles from Joel Makower: Inside Newsweek’s New Green Corporate Rankings and Who’s Invested in Newsweek’s Least-Green Companies? (Maybe You).

For the full rankings, as well as other insight from Newsweek staff, visit



Industry Sector

Green Score

1 Hewlett-Packard Technology 100
2 Dell Technology 98.87
3 Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceuticals 98.56
4 Intel Technology 95.12
5 IBM Technology 94.08
6 State Street Financial Services 93.62
7 Nike Consumer Products, Cars 93.28
8 Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceuticals 92.62
9 Applied Materials Technology 91.79
10 Starbucks Media, Travel, Leisure 91.63
11 Johnson Controls Consumer Products, Cars 89.53
12 Cisco Systems Technology 88.59
13 Wells Fargo Banks and Insurance 88.53
14 Sun Microsystems Technology 88.11
15 Sprint Nextel Technology 88.06
16 Adobe Systems Technology 87.88
17 Advanced Micro Devices Technology 87.86
18 Kohl’s Retail 86.78
19 Allergan Pharmaceuticals 86.73
20 Staples Retail 86.37


By ClimateBiz Staff (21 September 2009):

Based on responses by more than 300 global companies, this report from EcoSecurities, ClimateBiz and Baker & McKenzie offers a snapshot of global corporate attitudes toward the voluntary carbon market and the role of carbon offsets within larger carbon management strategies.

It follows the inaugural “Carbon Offsetting Trends Survey 2008,” which was among the first to probe the buyer’s perspective of the voluntary carbon market.

The vast majority of multinational companies are pushing ahead with developing and implementing carbon management strategies despite a steep global recession that sent financial markets into a tailspin and took a toll on corporate balance sheets, the report found.

An average of 60 percent of companies in this year’s survey have taken stock of their greenhouse gas inventories, with more than three-quarters (76 percent) devising or executing carbon management strategies, which also include energy efficiency, waste reduction and recycling initiatives. Carbon offsets play a key role in these plans, with more than two-thirds reporting they have already bought offsets in the past, or expressed their intention of doing so before 2012.

Nearly 70 percent of all companies reported a positive view of carbon offsets, the purchases of which are motivated by the environmental benefits they offer (91 percent), in addition to carbon neutrality and marketing reasons (89 percent) and fulfilling their CSR commitments (79 percent).

By and large, buyers gravitate toward renewable energy projects, including solar (92 percent) and wind (86 percent). The most desirable region for projects tended to be those located in the U.S., likely a reflection of the respondents’ origins: Fifty-six percent of those in the survey hail from North America.

The free report can be downloaded here


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