January, 2010

January 27th, 2010

New Year’s Resolutions are a dime a dozen. Why not make 2010 a year of meaningful resolutions?

Take a look at the 2009 Climate Counts Scores of 20 companies in the Food Products Industry.

Food Products - At a fundamental level, climate change and agriculture are two issues that are inextricably linked; risks from flood, drought, and disease all loom large over our global food systems. And the impact of those food systems themselves on climate change is dramatic; packaging of food products and the impact of waste on the environment are only growing as significant issues. Consumers are increasingly aware of the environmental impacts of their food choices and are learning that not all multinational food companies look alike when it comes to their attention to issues like water scarcity, toxicity, animal welfare, and, of course, climate change.

That said, because of consumer awareness and engagement, more and more food companies are getting the message. Ten of eleven companies in the food products sector improved their Climate Counts scores from 2008 to 2009. Unilever and Stonyfield Farm have continued to lead, both working to fully integrate climate action into business strategy and across the global value chain.

Kraft Foods, PepsiCo, General Mills, Sara Lee and ConAgra Foods each improved their scores by double digits. Significant increases in company scores resulted from a range of actions including third-party verification of company climate data, clear goals and public engagement. PepsiCo’s greatly improved reviewing of emissions and reduction goals bring them in close proximity to archrival Coca-Cola. Nestle and Kellogg also improved their scores, and with Sara Lee’s 20 point increase due to the data reported in its first-ever comprehensive sustainability report, this sector no longer has any companies that are considered “stuck” in the lowest tier of Climate Counts scores (scores of 12 points or less).

January 5th, 2010

Why not tune into the truth in 2010?

Media companies should bring words and actions into alignment.

Media - As the Western world continues to be inundated with thousands of ads daily, many of which are for “green products,” consumers may be overlooking the environmental impacts of media giants themselves.

Companies in this category, including General Electric and Disney, often have a considerable impact in many different realms. In 2009, GE maintained brands found within the large appliances, airline, electronics, and pharmaceutical sectors along with their media ownership of CNBC, MSNBC, and Bravo (it should be noted that GE sold off its media business to Comcast at the end of 2009). Their different and diverse business units all have varying climate impacts, with each subsidiary facing complex challenges. General Electric continues to rank the highest in this category, much of which can be attributed to strong carbon reduction programs emerging from its Ecomagination initiative.

News Corporation also improved this year, in part because of the company’s emphasis on internal educational efforts around climate change issues. Disney and Time Warner showed solid gains with Disney’s investment in renewable energy demonstrating a strong commitment to innovation. With just three more points, Disney will join GE and News Corporation in the Striding category.

After showing progress from ’07 to ’08, CBS continues to remain non-committal to concrete emissions reductions and as a result is at the bottom of the sector. Having not even calculated its emissions, Viacom remains behind CBS. Incidentally, this shows a disconnection to one of Viacom’s major audiences, the youth; as the parent company of MTV, Comedy Central, VH1 and numerous other youth-oriented media outlets that have promoted climate action, Viacom has shown little commitment to dealing with climate change in-house, while its viewers are some of the largest supporters of climate legislation.

  • Brighter Planet's 350 Challenge