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December, 2010

December 16th, 2010

Give Thanks and Motivate A Trillion of Your Dollars to Take More Climate Action

First, let’s put a trillion dollars into perspective:

In 2009 U.S. Chamber of Commerce, who spent much of the year fighting climate legislation, spent $123.3 million on lobbying activities (the most of any lobby group ever).

According to a Center for Responsive Politics analysis, the oil and gas industry spent $175 million lobbying Washington in 2009. In 2009 ExxonMobil alone spent $27.4 million in its lobbying efforts’ that’s more than all of the pro-environmental groups combined ($22.4 million).

If we add the $123.3 million from the Chamber to the $175 million from the oil and gas industry, we’re looking at nearly $300 million dollars lobbying against climate legislation vs. just $22.4 million working towards comprehensive climate legislation; this truly is David vs. Goliath.

The question is how can we weaken Goliath – think fossil fuel industry – and strengthen David – think environmental groups. Specifically, how can we find and motivate a trillion dollars to support David in his push for the comprehensive climate legislation needed to save our planet? The answer is rather simple; spend your money with companies that support comprehensive climate legislation and tell them you care about the actions they’re taking.

Twenty-one of the 150 companies scored by ClimateCounts.org – plus four of our Climate Counts Industry Innovator companies — on their climate action have shown consumers they support public policy that can lead to reductions in global warming pollution. That’s twenty-one companies pulling in over a trillion dollars in revenue ready to listen to consumers who care about climate change.

The truth is this isn’t all black and white. Some of the companies listed below are part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Yet, in order to make real change happen we need these companies to take action like Nike ($19.39 billion) did when it left the Chamber’s board of directors because of disputes over the need for comprehensive federal climate legislation. Or Apple, ($65.22 billion) who left the U.S. Chamber of Commerce entirely because of its position on climate change. Apple and Nike alone brought in $84.61 billion dollars in revenue in 2009; that’s an $84.61 billion dollar voice ready to support comprehensive climate legislation.

We need to tell companies like Siemens ($101.19 billion), The Coca-Cola Co. ($32 billion), and News Corp ($33 billion) that we do appreciate their positive political stance in the U.S. and we deeply appreciate their work in Cancun where they brought the climate-change fight to COP16 pushing for an international climate agreement.

If we share our gratitude with companies taking strong public policy stances and encourage them to use their power to elevate the national and international importance of climate action, the fable of David vs. Goliath will remain just that — a fable, not our future.

Company name – Just click and send them a message of your choice!

Policy Stance out of 10 points

Total ClimateCounts.org Score

Nike

10

87

Stonyfield Farm

10

83

Timberland*

9

82

Clif Bar*

9

67

Ben & Jerry’s*

8

71

Google

9

53

Hewlett-Packard

9

85

PepsiCo

9

66

Deutsche Post DHL

8

74

eBay

8

58

FedEx

8

58

Levi Strauss

8

61

L’Oreal

8

76

Marriott

8

62

Samsung

8

65

Siemens

8

76

Starbucks

8

54

The Coca-Cola Co.

8

67

Unilever

8

83

Amtrak*

7

62

Apple

7

61

Gap Inc.

7

52

General Electric

7

78

News Corporation

7

69

Nokia

7

76

* These four companies are among the charter members of the voluntary Climate Counts Industry Innovator Program, which launched in February 2010.

This holiday season ClimateCounts.org is making sure you spend your hard-earned dollars with companies who care about the climate change. Join the Striding Shopper Campaign to give the gift that keeps on giving: companies that care about climate change as much as you do.

Mark Harrison is the Campaign Coordinator at ClimateCounts.org and can be reached at mharrison@climatecounts.org.

The Striding Shopper Campaign is supported by these great organizations: TckTckTck.org, ICCR.org, Kids vs Global Warming, and Brighter Planet.

December 7th, 2010

Climate Counts Scores Up 14% from 2009

Broad Improvement: Top-Scoring Nike Improves, Five Others Surge More Than 20 Points Non-Profit Group To Sharpen Public Policy Focus in Future Scoring

MANCHESTER, NH – Climate Counts scores improved 14% over 2009 according to its latest review of 90 top companies’ climate commitment. Nike had the top score for the third straight year but other companies are closing the gap; eleven companies now score over 75 points out of a possible 100.

“There’s an emerging top tier of innovative companies leading on climate,” said Wood Turner, Climate Counts Executive Director. “Climate action may have bogged down in Washington, but these companies know they can build successful businesses while tackling the climate crisis.”

Significant improvement is the important story this year. Five “surging” companies improved their scores by 20 or more points—led by commercial bank PNC Financial Services’ 40-point improvement. Since Climate Counts’ first scores were launched in 2007, the average company score has improved from 31 points to 50.1 points.

“Corporate climate commitment has graduated. It is now the norm for well-managed, forward-thinking businesses,” said Turner. “We’re excited about that 50-point milestone. When we launched four years ago, we issued a clear challenge, and companies appear ready to see the leadership bar raised.”

In support of its annual release of scores, Climate Counts has launched a Striding Shopper campaign, challenging consumers to make their holiday purchases from companies scoring over 50 total points. In addition this holiday season, Climate Counts’ free iPhone app is featured in New York City’s Wired store through the end of the year.

Each year, Climate Counts scores the largest companies (by revenue) in sixteen industry sectors on their actions to address climate change (scores for four other sectors were released early this year). 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.

This is the first Climate Counts scorecard release since the U.S. Senate failed to pass climate and energy legislation that had previously cleared the House of Representatives. Corporations and corporate associations played a major role in its failure, spending hundreds of millions of dollars spent in opposition lobbying. This year, Climate Counts is recognizing a distinguished group of 21 of its scored companies for their vocal support of for climate policy that would lead to reduction in global warming pollution. These companies come from nine of the 12 sectors with newly updated scores, and include businesses from The Gap, which supported the defeat of California’s anti-alternative energy voter referendum Proposition 23 and actively educated its employees on the reasons it considered the initiative bad for business and job growth, to Starbucks which has used traditional marketing to inform consumers of its support for strong climate and energy legislation.

“As Climate Counts evolves,” said board chair Gary Hirshberg, “it will become increasingly important that it look closely at the role companies play in positively or negatively influencing climate policy. Corporations are asserting themselves into our political process as never before, and it’s important that consumers know who’s working against strong climate action.”

This year’s Climate Counts sector leaders are as follows:

- Airlines: Southwest Airlines
- Apparel: Nike
- Commercial Banks: Bank of America
- Beverages/Beer: Anheuser-Busch InBev
- Consumer Shipping: UPS
- Electronics: Hewlett-Packard
- Food Products: (tie) Stonyfield Farm, Unilever
- Food Services: Starbucks
- Hotels: Marriott
- Household Products: L’Oreal
- Internet/Software: Microsoft
- Media: General Electric*

A report and the full docket of the latest Climate Counts company scores are available at www.climatecounts.org. The non-profit organization also has a voluntary scoring and benchmarking program — called Climate Counts Industry Innovators (i2) — and plans to announce new qualifying members in early 2011.

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About Climate Counts
Climate Counts is a non-profit organization bringing consumers and companies together in the fight against global climate change. Launched with financial support from organics pioneer
Stonyfield Farm, 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 now rate the climate actions of nearly 150 companies (representing approximately 3,000 brands) in 16 industry sectors. Companies are given the opportunity to confirm or provide public data sources. Information on all scored companies is available at www.climatecounts.org

* General Electric is a conglomerate with major holdings in this sector and others. In the event that it no longer maintains its holdings in this sector, it will appear in a different sector in future scores from Climate Counts.


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