Monday, March 26, 2007

Fortune Magazine names "Green Giants"

Fortune Magazine's April 2 issue is its first-ever green edition, with a special report on "Going Green." It includes a list of the top ten companies that are "ahead of the learning curve on the strategic value of environmentalism in their industries." Nominations came from environmentalists and consultants who have worked in corporate America, and then were whittled down by Fortune writers.

The winners are...

  • Honda Motors: The most fuel-efficient auto company in the U.S.
  • Continental Airlines: Worked with Boeing to engineer more fuel-efficient aircraft
  • Goldman Sachs: Bold climate-change policy shapes major investments
  • Hewlett-Packard: Silicon Valley's longtime industry leader in eco-sensitivity
  • Suncor: Measures the environmental impact of each project
  • Tesco: Cut energy use and is trying to get customers to think green
  • Alcan: Investing in clean, efficient manufacturing
  • PG&E: Strategic investments in efficiency and renewables
  • S.C. Johnson: Three generations of committed environmental stewardship
  • Swiss RE: Developing financial tools to deal with the risks of climate change
Fortune also notes the efforts of Patagonia, which began recycling decades before it became mainstream, and DuPont for its pollution reduction efforts and its plans to embrace "sustainability as a strategic goal" (that sounds pretty vague to me, but they have been aggressive on biofuels, like cellulosic ethanol).

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is also given a nod for his leadership on global warming solutions and cutting carbon dioxide pollution.

Senior Writer Marc Gunther wrote:
"...big business and environmentalists used to be sworn enemies - and for good reason. General Electric dumped toxins into the Hudson River. Wal-Mart bulldozed its way across America. DuPont was named the nation's worst polluter. The response from the environmental movement: mandate, regulate, and litigate. Those days are mostly over. Today big companies and activists are at least as apt to hammer out a partnership over a cup of sustainably grown coffee as to confront one another in court. No, they do not always see eye to eye, but the areas of common ground are getting broader. Why? For one thing, because there is money to be made."

Notably absent from the top 10 list are GE and Wal-Mart, who have gotten a lot of attention for their renewable energy and energy efficiency efforts. Should they have made the list? Was another worthy company left off the list?

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