Newsweek Reveals Its Latest Green Rankings

Produced in partnership with two leaders in sustainability analysis, Trucost and Sustainalytics, Newsweek has published its highly awaited annual Green Rankings list, which delivers a comprehensive assessment of the environmental impact, management, and disclosure of the 500 largest publicly traded U.S. and global companies. The two lists highlight firms that are leading, or lackluster, in their environmental performance.


In his article, Newsweek editor Ian Yarrett explains why companies earned top spots:

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.

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.


On the U.S. list, Hewlett-Packard, Sprint Nextel, scored second and third place, while Healthcare giant Baxter ranked fourth. Technology, healthcare, and financial-services companies took the top spots in part because these are inherently low-impact industries, especially when compared with utility and manufacturing companies. Among retailers, both Office Depot, Staples, and Best Buy made the top 20. And, although ranked 37th overall, Boeing was the leader in the capital goods industry sector, with Northrop Gruman (51) next followed by General Electric (63). The top 20 U.S. companies: 


  Company Industry Sector Score
IBM Information Technology &
2 Hewlett-Packard Technology Equipment 75.8
3 Sprint Nextel Telecommunications 75.6
4 Baxter Healthcare 74.9
5 Dell Technology Equipment 74.7
6 Johnson & Johnson Healthcare 74.6
7 Accenture Information Technology &
8 Office Depot Retailers 73.6
9 CA Technologies Information Technology &
10 Nvidia Technology Equipment 71.9
11 Agilent Technologies Healthcare 71.7
12 Hartford Financial Services Grp. Financials 71.7
13 EMC Technology Equipment 71.6
14 Adobe Systems Information Technology &
15 Intel Technology Equipment 71.4
16 Cognizant Technology Information Technology &
17 Staples Retailers 70.7
18 Motorola Solutions Technology Equipment 70.7
19 Best Buy Retailers 70.2
20 Allergan Healthcare 70.1


Also, among the findings in this year’s report are the least-green companies – the bottom of the list represents companies that haven’t yet put the effort in to measure, manage and reduce their impacts. Bottom 10:


491 Ralcorp Holdings Food, Beverage & Tobacco 28.4
492 Peabody Energy Energy 27.6
493 Bunge Food, Beverage & Tobacco 27
494 Ameren Utilities 26.3
495 Archer-Daniels-Midland Food, Beverage & Tobacco 26
496 CONSOL Energy Energy 24.8
497 Invesco Financials 23.2
498 Monsanto Materials 22.8
499 BlackRock Financials 20.7
T. Rowe Price Group Financials 19.9


For more information on Newsweek’s Green List, visit


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