September 30th, 2009
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September 30, 2009 (603) 216-3788
Strong Climate Business in Michigan?
Michigan-based Steelcase and Whirlpool Have Top Climate Counts Scores Among Furniture and Large Appliance Makers
MANCHESTER, N.H. – Two Michigan-based companies are leading their sectors on climate commitment, according to new scores released today by Climate Counts. The non-profit reviewed 21 of the top companies in the Furniture & Home Furnishings and Large Appliance manufacturing sectors, and Steelcase and Whirlpool came out ahead. Whirlpool (61 points) and Steelcase (56 points) were the only companies in either of the two sectors to receive the Climate Counts “striding” designation (50 points or higher out of a possible 100). With estimates suggesting that 2009 job losses in Michigan may top 300,000, these two companies point to a possible trend: the alignment of corporate climate leadership with future economic stability in a region hard hit by the current recession.
“We’re certainly pleased to see solid corporate climate leadership coming out of Michigan and are hopeful it bodes well for the future growth of good, green jobs. We will be paying close attention to the efforts of these companies to show continued improvement,” said Wood Turner, Climate Counts Executive Director.
The Climate Counts Company Scorecard gives all consumers concerned with the climate crisis the ability to make informed purchasing decisions. Users can also visit ClimateCounts.org to send e-mail and Twitter messages to companies about their climate actions. Climate Counts plans to release an iPhone application later this year (in partnership with Mobile Feat) to help consumers not only access company climate scores while shopping but also send messages to those companies about their scores.
“It has never been a more important time for consumers to let companies know how concerned they are about climate change,” said Turner. “The only way to ensure coordinated, substantive action from companies and governments worldwide is for people to make their voices heard.”
Other companies in the Furniture sector show signs of following the sector leaders, or “starting” in the Climate Counts parlance. Herman Miller, another Michigan-based company, scored a 46, finishing second in Home Furnishing. Masco, maker of the KraftMaid brand of cabinets and other home furnishings, scored 39, while mattress maker Sealy and furniture maker La-Z-Boy both scored 16. Leggett & Platt scored 15 points, and HNI, maker of Allsteel and Hearth & Home products, scored 13. The remaining seven companies scored in the sector were considered “stuck” on climate change by Climate Counts, each scoring four points or below. That group included five of Sealy’s top mattress-making competitors.
Large Appliance Sector
The Large Appliance sector, makers of products responsible for approximately 20% of household energy use and significant household expenses, comprises companies that appear collectively more focused on climate change than furniture companies. Like the previously scored Electronics sector, appliance makers score relatively high. Following Whirlpool in the rankings were LG (49 points), Bosch and Siemens (45), and Electrolux (45). Miele and Emerson had respectively 23 and 21 points, and Kenmore – Sears’ appliance brand – came in at the bottom with 17 points. While all the companies in this sector show efforts to provide energy-efficient products to consumers, their efforts to reduce overall companywide impact on climate change vary significantly. (General Electric, also a maker of large appliances, has been scored previously by Climate Counts and currently scores 71.)
The Climate Counts Company Scorecard
Climate Counts scores companies (by revenue) on their actions to address climate change. The companies are scored on a 0-to-100 point scale based on 22 criteria that measure companies’ efforts to assess their own climate footprint, reduce their emissions, support (or block) progress on major climate legislation, and communicate their efforts clearly and comprehensively to consumers.
The Climate Counts Company Scorecard was developed with oversight from a panel of business and climate experts from leading non-governmental organizations and academic institutions. Criteria were chosen for their effectiveness at accomplishing a single goal – solving the global climate crisis. Since 2007, Climate Counts researchers have used these criteria to rate 143 companies (representing approximately 3,000 brands) in 16 industry sectors. Companies were given the opportunity to confirm or provide information gathered from public data sources. Information on all of the 143 scored companies is available at www.climatecounts.org. Updated scores for previously reviewed sectors are slated for release later this year.
About Climate Counts
Climate Counts is a non-profit organization bringing consumers and companies together in the fight against global climate change. It was launched with financial support from organics pioneer Stonyfield Farm. Please visit www.climatecounts.org for the full scores and more information.