Climate Counts scores companies on a 0-to-100 point scale, communicating whether companies have measured, reduced and/or publicly reported their climate impact, and whether companies support (or suggested intent to block) progressive climate legislation.
“Business as usual practices of the 20th century are shifting to include awareness and strategic focus related to climate impact.” says Mike Bellamonte, Project Director of Climate Counts. “Sustainability reporting and guarding against business risks associated with climate change have become part of the ‘new normal.’”
Climate Counts has been rating companies for 5 years, since 2007. In the 2011 report, 136 companies were scored across 16 sectors. Recognizing the need for parity between high-emitting sectors (airlines) and lower emitting sectors (such as food services), the Climate Counts scorecard is designed to measure a company’s actions and not the size of its footprint.
Of the industries that have typically performed well on the Climate Counts scorecard, Electronics had the highest average scores in 2011 with 74.8 points, while Food Products (67.6) and Pharmaceuticals (67.2) were ranked second and third respectively. The lowest performing sectors belong to Toys & Children’s Equipment with an average score of 11.6 across 13 companies, followed by Home and Office Furnishings with an average score of 20.3 points
The biggest company scored in terms of market capitalization is Apple (60), valued at $351 billion. Apple continues to lag nearly 20% behind the industry average for Electronics and 32% behind the top scoring company overall. This is due in part to the lack of company-wide goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the absence of comprehensive reporting.
Since 2009, Apple has rejected multiple shareholder resolutions that would require the company to develop a board-level sustainability committee and to report on company-wide progress related to the company’s GHG emissions. By way of contrast, Google (56), has launched a series of initiatives intended to reduce emissions associated with employee commuting including GFleet, a car-share program comprised of electric vehicles and hybrids. Cars are available free of charge to employees for off-site meetings, running errands, or emergencies. The GFleet program and related commuter shuttles result in a net annual savings of more than 5,400 metric tons of CO2.
If you need access to information about what companies are doing to reduce their impact on the environment, the Cliamte Counts API is a good place to start. Documentation for Climate Counts API is online at http://api.climatecounts.org/docs/. Currently the API allows access to our latest, 2011 data, but as data is released in the coming years, Climate Counts plans to retain past scores as well as always include the most recent years data.