Newsweek Releases Ranking of Greenest (And UnGreenest) Companies

Newsweek released its annual ranking today of the Greenest (and Ungreenest) companies in the world and the US.

This is the fourth year Newsweek ranked the 500 largest companies on their environmental footprint (45% of score), corporate management (45%) and transparency (10%), using data from Trucost and Sustainalytics.

World’s Top Green Corporations

All the top companies got scores of 82 out of 100 or above – here are some very brief highlights on what makes them stand out.

IBM – which always tops these lists – is the only US company included in the world’s 20 top corporations.

It’s rated #4 in the world for its "Smarter Planet" service that helps clients measure and reduce their own footprint, while saving them money. At its Zurich lab, water that cools a supercomputer is used to warm nearby buildings. Read our profile on IBM.

The world’s greenest corp is in Brazil and is bank Santander Brasil, which asks prospective clients to complete an environmental questionnaire. Before it provides a loan or line of credit, it guides those with "red flags" to more sustainable practices.

India’s IT services company Winpro comes in second. It plans to convert five of its campuses to "biodiversity zones" by 2015, and its flagship data center in North Carolina just earned LEED- Gold certification.

#3 is another bank in Brazil, Bradesco, which started a nonprofit that protects 10 million hectares in the Amazon rainforest and has donated over $50 million to plant 30 million trees in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest.

National Australia Bank comes in 5th. It became carbon neutral in 2010 by tripling investments in wind and gas [hmmm] projects, rather than just buying offsets.

At the bottom of the list is – you guessed it – US-based Monsanto, along with Coal India and Singapore food company Wilmar.

Top US Companies

In the ranking of the 500 largest US companies, IBM is #1, followed by Hewlett-Packard, Sprint Nextel, Dell and CA Technologies. 

HP has cut emissions over 50% since 2005 and doesn’t work with suppliers linked to deforestation and illegal logging.

Sprint was the first telecom to collect and reuse discarded devices, and gives online buyers credits when they turn in old phones. By 2017, it hopes to recycle 90% of all devices it sells.

Dell reuses or recycles 98% of its nonhazardous by-products and leads on green packaging.

CA Technologies will get 25% of electricity from renewables in the next several years and is cutting pollution by having a third of its workforce work from home.

Companies at the bottom of the US list are: financial firm BlackRock, energy company Alpha Natural Resources, CF Industries Holdings, T. Rowe Price Group and Monsanto.

The dirtiest American companies are in predictable industries: utilities, materials, food and beverage, which have heavy environmental footprints, but these go even further by investing in environmentally damaging practices such as coal mining and gas drilling.

See our description of last year’s Newsweek Green rankings.

Here are this year’s rankings: 

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