March, 2011

March 29th, 2011

Green Watchers Raise Their Voices & Spin Their Wheels For Corporate Climate Action

We’re thrilled to be part of Climate Ride’s 2011 charity cycling events! As part of our Green Watching campaign we’re offering up a chance to win a Climate Counts WEADDUP T-shirt to those who tweet “I’m @GreenWatching and I support @ClimateCounts on the @ClimateRide you should too! http://on.fb.me/fhyZyS #climate, #green, #eco” Announce your tweet on our Facebook wall and you’ll double your chances! http://on.fb.me/fhyZyS

What it is:
This awesome “climate conference on wheels” raises funds for a collection of nine hardworking non-profits including Climate Counts and we need YOUR help to make it happen. We’re recruiting team members to join us on an amazing 300-mile, 5-day adventure on two wheels. Come along on this awe-inspiring 5-day ride!

What to do:
After you tweet, join or sponsor our team on the NYC-DC and/or Eureka- San Francisco rides and help us spread the word! Have a friend who might be interested in this email? Send it their way! We all know someone who loves to ride, let’s make sure they ride to protect our climate!

March 22nd, 2011

Consumers Value Innovative Efforts to Address Climate Change, Thank Six Corporate Leaders

This week we’re thanking the six charter members of our Industry Innovators program: Amtrak, Ben & Jerry’s, Clif Bar, REI, Shaklee, and Timberland for recognizing the importance of corporate climate action and choosing to voluntarily participate in the Climate Counts scoring process. These six companies believe in keeping the door open between business and consumers around climate change and are finding innovative ways to not only push their company climate scores even higher but, more importantly, to reduce their impact on climate change.

Help us applaud their efforts and continue to encourage meaningful corporate climate action. Send a tweet saying: “I value your voluntary #climate action @timberland @cherrygarcia @rei @clifbar @amtrak shaklee! http://on.fb.me/eR59tKand you could win a Climate Counts WEADDUP T-shirt! Announce your tweet on our Facebook wall and you’ll double your chances! http://on.fb.me/eR59tK

Congratulations to: @idealist, @connellybilly, @EcoHerbalista, @JesseRae_XP, @NNUS, @MamandeEDS, @sustcampus, @kapowers1, @Tillyface and @Crunchymom for taking climate action in our @GreenWatching campaign on Twitter. Claim your @ClimateCounts WEADDUP T-shirts by sending @ClimateCounts a direct message with “I’m ready for my T-shirt!” in the subject line.

March 15th, 2011

Consumers tell McDonald’s: I’m Green, I’m Watching and I think Climate Counts

This week, in preparation for our open dialogue with McDonald’s March 16th at noon, we’re asking Green Watchers to send @McDonalds a tweet: “@McDonalds I’m #green, I’m watching & I think @ClimateCounts! http://on.fb.me/eR59tK #climate.” Send @McDonalds a tweet and you could win a Climate Counts WEADDUP T-shirt! Announce your tweet on our Facebook wall and we’ll double your chances!

Want to do more? Join the Climate Counts Green Watching campaign where we’re participating in a Bard Center for Environmental Policy dialogue with Bob Langert, McDonald’s VP of Sustainability, and sending collective e-mails and tweets to McDonald’s encouraging the company to take more climate action. Visit www.ClimateCounts.org to learn more.

Congratulations to: @idealist, @connellybilly, @EcoHerbalista, @JesseRae_XP, @NNUS, @MamandeEDS, @sustcampus, and now @kapowers1 for taking climate action in our @GreenWatching campaign on Twitter. Claim your @ClimateCounts WEADDUP T-shirts by sending @ClimateCounts a direct message with “I’m ready for my T-shirt!” in the subject line.

March 14th, 2011

Consumer Voices Focus on Improving McDonald’s Climate Leadership from the Ground Up

First, let’s do the numbers: McDonald’s has over 32,478 restaurants in 60% of the world’s countries and recorded $24 billion in revenue last year. That’s more restaurants than any other company in the world, and $24 billion is…well, it’s a lot of money.

Moving beyond that extraordinary number of drive-thrus, global presence, and Fortune 150 revenue of McDonald’s, what’s more impressive is how quickly the company can change, particularly in response to the voices of consumers.

We can all agree the pace and aggressiveness with which McDonald’s addresses its own climate impacts and the much larger impacts of its suppliers will only accelerate if its consumers make it clear that climate action matters to them. Consumer choice doesn’t just have the potential to alter the direction of environmentally flavored ad campaigns; it can transform corporate decision-making and, yes, even corporate culture.

If you’re old enough to remember the consumer unrest around McDonald’s Styrofoam packaging in the late 1980’s, then you’ll appreciate the subsequent achievements the company has accomplished through its partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). Here are the McDonald’s sustainability achievements that came out of its initial partnership with EDF:

  • Switched from polystyrene foam “clamshells” to paper-based wraps for sandwich packaging, providing a 70-90% reduction in sandwich packaging volume, reducing landfill space consumed, energy used and pollutants released over the lifecycle of the package
  • Converted to unbleached paper carry-out bags, coffee filters and Big Mac wraps
  • Reduced paper use by 21% in napkins, and incorporated 30% post-consumer recycled content
  • Asked suppliers to incorporate 35% post-consumer recycled content into all corrugated shipping boxes
  • The company saves an estimated $6 million per year as a result of these packaging changes and in the decade following the partnership, McDonald’s eliminated over 300 million pounds of packaging, recycled one million tons of corrugated boxes, and reduced restaurant waste by 30%.

All of these changes were implemented in less than a two-year span.

The McDonald’s EDF partnership marched on through the 1990s, and by 2000, McDonald’s cut more than 510 million kilowatt-hours of electricity usage and 4,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions by installing energy-efficient lighting. That’s a good start, but what’s the latest? What is McDonald’s doing now and how can we remind McDonald’s that consumers care deeply about its response to its impacts on global climate change?

If you’re wondering what McDonald’s is doing to address climate change in 2011 and what its future plans are, join Climate Counts and the Bard Center for Environmental Policy at noon on March 16 for a dialogue with Bob Langert, McDonald’s VP of Sustainability. If you care about changing McDonald’s from the ground up inside out, lend your voice to our Green Watching campaign where we’re sending e-mails and tweets to McDonald’s encouraging them to take more climate action and to be more actively engaged with fast-food consumers on corporate climate responsibility. Visit www.ClimateCounts.org to learn more.

As part of the Climate Counts Green Watching campaign and the Bard Center for Environmental Policy Campus to Corporation (C2C) webinar series, consumers will be asked to listen in and engage McDonald’s in a productive dialogue around their climate action.

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

About Climate Counts: Climate Counts is a non-profit campaign that scores companies annually on the basis of their voluntary action to reverse climate change. The Climate Counts Company Scorecard helps people vote with their dollars by making climate-conscious purchasing and investing choices that put pressure on the world’s most well-known companies to take the issue of climate change seriously. Launched with support from organics pioneer Stonyfield Farm, Climate Counts believes everyday consumers can be the most important activists in the fight against global warming. Climate Counts has currently evaluated nearly 150 companies in sixteen major consumer sectors. Climate Counts’ work has appeared in many of the world’s leading media outlets, among them the New York Times, National Public Radio, The Economist, BBC World Service, the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, The Huffington Post, and the Harvard Business Review. The organization launched its free iPhone app and its voluntary Climate Counts Industry Innovators (i2) program in early 2010.

About Bard: The Bard Center for Environmental Policy was created to promote education, research, and public service on critical issues pertaining to the natural and built environments. Its primary goal is train leaders and improve environmental policies by facilitating the use of the best available scientific knowledge in the policy-making process at the local, regional, national, and international levels. Bard CEP’s premise is that to address environmental problems and pursue sustainable use of natural resources, scientists, economists, lawyers, ethicists, and policy makers must understand one another’s perspectives and values, and communicate effectively with the general public. For more information about the Bard Center for Environmental Policy, please call 845-758-7073, e-mail cep@bard.edu, or visit www.bard.edu/cep.

March 1st, 2011

Philips: Green Leader or Greenwasher? #Tshirt Tuesday

This week the Climate Counts Green Watching campaign is telling Philips they want to see a Climate Counts score. Philips pulled in $35 billion dollars in revenue last year and, according to its annual report, reduced its operational carbon footprint from 1,937 to 1,808 kilotons CO2-equivalent. The company also has an entire green campaign and green logo for its products. But is Philips a green leader or a greenwasher? The Climate Counts Green Watching campaign is calling for a Climate Counts score of Philips to help consumers see how the company stacks up against its competitors.

Send Philips (@asimpleswitch) a tweet you’ll be in the running for a Free WEADDUP Climate Counts T-shirt! After you tweet announce your vote on our Facebook Page and we’ll count your vote a second time!

How does Philips stack up with its competitors? Is Philips fighting for comprehensive climate legislation like HP, Nokia, Siemens, Samsung and Apple? Or is Philips ‘Stuck’ and avoiding climate action all together?

Please note: You can tweet from our website or our free iPhone app. You can see our latest scores in the ‘new scores’ tab on our Facebook page, on our website, our iPhone app and on our smart phone site m.climatecounts.org

Happy Tweeting!

Click here to see official rules.

Last week’s winner:

As part of our Green Watching campaign partnership with the @SustainU Clothing’s oneSHIRT campaign we asked thousands of consumers to message the companies making behind their T-shirt demanding more climate action. A big shout out to Laureen (@MamandeEDS on twitter) for tweeting to Nike and winning a Free WEADDUP Climate Counts T-shirt!

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