Home Web Companies Lag in Climate Consciousness: New Report

Web Companies Lag in Climate Consciousness: New Report

Jack Johnson tipped me off to this website. Well, okay, he tipped off a couple of billion other people at the same time. I’m writing this while I watch the web stream of Johnson’s set at the Live Earth concert in Sydney, Australia, and right before an energetic rendition of “Staple It Together,” he urged the crowd to visit Climate Counts.

Climate Counts, which launched on June 19th, is a non-profit website that rates corporations based on their environmental impact. They use a 22-item scorecard that asks questions like “Is there top-level support for climate change action?” and “Does the company require suppliers to take climate change action or give preference to those that do?” You can read the full list here (PDF). So who’s on top? And how do web companies rank?

Climate Counts has currently ranked 56 corporations, and Canon comes out on top with a score of 77 out of a possible 100. The most climate conscious company on the list that is prominently involved in web 2.0 is MySpace parent, News Corporation This likely has a lot to do with CEO Rupert Murdoch’s well publicized pledge to address climate change at the company. News Corp. checked in at number 11 on the Climate Counts list with a score of 57.

Here’s how the rest of the web 2.0-related companies on the list faired:

Some other interesting observations: McDonald’s handily beat Burger King and Wendy’s (who each scored 0), and CocaCola comes out way ahead of PepsiCo. Also, Starbucks scored a favorable rating, so you don’t have to feel bad about those overpriced morning lattes.


It would seem that web companies (at least large corporations involved in the web) mostly have a long way to go toward helping clean up the environment. Only News Corp., Yahoo! and Microsoft on this list scored favorable ratings. Google scored a rating of “Starting,” meaning that they are heading in the right direction but have a long way to go. I was most disappointed by Apple, which has come under fire for their environmental track record before, especially given that former US Vice President Al Gore, one of the world’s most prominent environmental activists, sits on their Board of Directors.

I hope the Climate Counts expands their list to include more corporations, and I appreciate that they have opted for total transparency by including each company’s full report in PDF form on their web site. If you enjoy Climate Counts, also check out Knowmore.org, which is a wiki that tracks and rates corporations based on their commitment to socially responsible business practices.

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