Pole position for Munich Re in Global Green Rankings
Munich Re topped Newsweek’s recently
published Green Rankings as the leading company worldwide. With a Green Score
of 83.6 out of 100, Munich Re came out above last year’s winner IBM (82.5) and
far ahead of other insurers. Munich Re has been handling global risks for 128
years and has been measuring climate change impacts since 1973. It set up the
Munich Climate Insurance Initiative and initiated the Desertec Solar Thermal
project in the Sahara.
Pole position for Munich Re in Newsweek’s
Munich Re topped Newsweek’s recently
published Green Rankings as the leading company worldwide. The rankings focus
on actual environmental performance and involve a high-profile assessment of
environmental impact and management. With a Green Score of 83.6 out of 100,
Munich Re came out above last year’s winner IBM (82.5) and far ahead of other
insurers. Munich Re has been handling global risks for 128 years and has been
measuring climate change impacts for
Thomas Braune, Head of Group Development for
Munich Re, said: “Sustainable thinking and action is our DNA, as we offer our
clients a promise for the future. This applies to all our activities, whether
in our core business or in investments. This ranking therefore also applies to
each of us in our specific sphere of responsibility. In particular, I am very
pleased in view of the global comparison, also with other industries.”
Newsweek started this rating in 2009, not
only focusing on the American market, but also taking into account the global
one. The rankings are the result of a comprehensive research process undertaken
by two leaders in sustainability analysis, Sustainalytics and Trucost,
supported by a high-level panel of advisors. This outstanding performance is
certainly related to the fact that Munich Re also heads the Sustainalytics
ratings in the insurance category.
The sustainability performance has a long
tradition at Munich Re, having been included since 2001 in the Dow Jones
Sustainability and FTSE4Good indices. Munich Re’ ranking in this year’s DJSI
has also improved remarkably, with Munich Re now only three percentage points
behind the sector leader.
Further information about the Green Rankings:
By Matthew Wheeland in GreenBiz.com (17
The annual Newsweek Green Rankings, which
have become perhaps the most anticipated green ratings in the world, are
published this morning, bringing a new methodology to bear, and bringing a few
surprises with it.
IBM has moved into the top spot from its
third place finish last year, while Hewlett-Packard stays in second place. Dell
moves down the list to fifth place after last year’s third place rank, and
Sprint moves up to third from sixth place last year.
Newsweek’s list this year looks not just at
the 500 largest U.S. companies, but the 500 largest in the world; German
reinsurance firm Munich Re has earned the title of the world’s greenest
Newsweek editor Ian Yarrett explains why each
firm took the top spot on its respective lists:
IBM, in the No. 1 spot on the U.S. list, has
been measuring, managing, and voluntarily reporting on its environmental impact
for more than 20 years. It says it has conserved 5.4 million kilowatt-hours of
electricity over that time, cutting its CO₂ emissions and saving
the company more than $400 million in the process. Energy efficiency and
conservation is a “business no-brainer,” says Wayne Balta, a vice
president who oversees sustainability at IBM. But the company has extended its
eco-savvy far beyond its own operations — for instance, providing software
that helps customers identify energy-saving efficiencies at an office campus.
With no manufacturing operations and only a
limited supply chain, banks and insurance companies tend to be relatively low
impact, and Munich Re, a German reinsurance company, came in first on the
global list. But a high ranking isn’t a given for financial firms. Some of
their investment portfolios include companies that have environmentally
damaging activities, such as coal mining or gas drilling. For the first time
this year, the rankings took those risks fully into account, consistent with
the latest Greenhouse Gas Protocol standard. That is partly why companies like
T. Rowe Price (No. 500 in the U.S.) didn’t rank higher.
The rankings also highlight which sectors are
performing best — as with Munich Re, companies in finance and technology are
predominant at the top of both lists; in eighth place, Office Depot is the only
retailer — and the only firm not in technology, communications or healthcare
– to make the top 10. Staples, the other big office supply retailer in the
U.S., is the next retail firm on the list, in 17th place.
Globally, the list is even more skewed away
from manufacturing and heavy industry: Walmart de Mexico, with its 14th place
rank, is the first firm not in tech or finance to make the list.
It’s important to note that Newsweek
undertook a major shift in its procedures for this year’s list; swapping out
reputational metrics for transparency metrics in its rankings.
As GreenBiz.com executive editor Joel Makower
writes in his analysis of the list:
What’s changed? Newsweek — which itself went
through two management handoffs during 2010, ultimately merging with the news
and opinion website The Daily Beast — revamped its methodology. Specifically:
a provider of decision support tools to investment institutions, opted out of
the 2011 rankings after participating the first two years. It was replaced by
Sustainalytics, bringing a new set of criteria and analysis to the rankings.
•This year’s disclosure score replaced a
“reputation survey score” used during the two previous years, which
was based on an opinion survey of corporate social-responsibility
professionals, academics, and other environmental experts. That means this
year’s analysis is largely devoid of thought-leader opinion about companies,
focusing instead on more tangible measures of performance.
•This year’s overall “green scores”
are displayed as an absolute number rather than a relative one. In the past,
the top company received a score of 100, with all other companies’ scores shown
relative to that. Now, the green score is a raw score. Under the new
methodology, a rating of 100 would apply only to a company that received a
perfect score. This year, the green score for IBM, which topped the 2011 U.S.
rankings, was 82.5%.
•The global rankings were expanded from 100
companies to 500. That dramatically affected some companies’ rankings, since
they are now competing on a much larger, more diverse playing field.
most of these technical details will matter primarily to sustainability geeks
– socially responsible investors and analysts, and the like. And, of course,
to the companies themselves.
Also among the notable findings in this
year’s report are the least-green companies. The bottom of the list is not made
up of resource-intensive firms that are trying their best to overcome the
demands of their industries, but rather companies that simply haven’t put the
effort in to measure, manage and reduce their impacts.
In the U.S., the bottom seven companies are:
Ameren Corp., Archer Daniels Midland, Consol Energy Inc., INVESCO Ltd.,
Monsanto Co., Blackrock Inc., and T. Rowe Price Group.
Globally, the lowest-ranking firms are: Bunge
Ltd. (U.S.), Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. (U.K.), Archer Daniels Midland
(U.S.), Monsanto Co. (U.S.), NTPC Ltd. (India), Coal India Ltd. (India), and
Wilmar International (Singapore).