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The Most Sustainable Companies of 2011 February 3, 2012

It’s that time of year again, compiling multiple summaries of anything and everything that happened in 2011 that you could care to read about: the Top Energy Stories, the Weirdest, Wildest Animal Stories and, of course, most sustainable large companies. In this analysis, Corporate Knights, a clean energy magazine, ranked the top 100 sustainable companies in 22 countries. Japan had the greatest number of companies, 19, while the U.S. came in second with 13, an improvement by one from 2010’s assessment. Other countries with a large number of green companies were: the UK (11), Canada (eight), Australia (six), Switzerland (six), France (five), Denmark (four), Finland (four), Brazil, Germany, Norway, and Spain (three each).
The analysis criteria ranged from comparing income to amount of waste produced and water consumed, as well as the percentage of women leaders and level of transparency in the company. Johnson & Johnson was the highest ranking U.S. company (number two overall), with Norway’s Statoil ASA taking the top position. Finland’s Nokia OYJ was number four, Intel Corp number six, Britain’s AstraZeneca PLC number seven and General Electric Co. number 11. Other notable U.S. companies, like Procter & Gamble Co., Kraft Foods Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Coca-Cola Enterprises, ranked 44th, 45th, 75th, and 78th, respectively.
To learn more about Corporate Knights’ analysis, visit their website.


A Green Company to Watch: Puma December 7, 2011

Puma, one of the world’s leading sports gear companies, is truly a company to watch because of their success but also because of their dedication to sustainability initiated by their CEO and Chairman Jochen Zeitz. After joining Puma in 1990, Zeitz completely changed the look and style of the company. Although many thought this was crazy, it eventually caught on and helped Puma reach $2.3 billion in annual sales in 2006. What is even more impressive for us green-minded people is Puma’s sustainability initiatives spearheaded by Zeitz. He has helped Puma reduce its use of hazardous chemicals, redesigned its shoeboxes to reduce packaging waste and supported solar power development. Now, after decades of research and changes to increase transparency, Puma is releasing a report that monetizes their impact on the environment through their use of environmental services, such as clean water, crops, soil formation, wildlife habitat and storm protection. Although this was no easy task, it greatly helps Puma to determine which areas are the worst-offenders and thus how to improve its overall environmental impact. From this new Environmental Profit and Loss Statement, Puma has learned that it would have to pay $133 million a year for the impact caused by its water use and greenhouse gas emissions. The report also found that the most expensive areas in terms of environmental impact are: cotton farming, natural rubber production and cattle ranching.

The next goals of the statement are to report social impacts as well as more environmental ones and to eventually also reflect the positive outcomes of Puma’s business, such as raising the level of education and health in an area. Zeitz has now moved on to become the Chief Sustainability Officer for Puma’s parent company, PPR SA, as well as head of the sport & lifestyle group. I, personally, am looking forward to seeing how Puma will use this new knowledge to decrease their environmental impact in the coming years.

To help your own business evaluate the ecosystem services it uses, check out the Guide to Corporate Ecosystem Valuation by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

Photo courtesy of Greener Package


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