The World Economic Forum is going on at Davos this week and today the 2010 Global 100 list of Most Sustainable Companies was released. It has its share of surprises and constants but what is disheartening is the percentage of companies that are based in the U.S. I touched upon this last week too in my post about mutual fund Portfolio 21's Top 10 Green Companies list. The Global 100 ranks companies based on several criteria, the main ones being CO2 Productivity--total and equivalent emissions, Leadership Diversity--the percentage of women on the company board, and their reported tax obligation.
Take a look at the screen shot, courtesy Global100.org, on the left and you will see the U.S. companies that made it to the list. A total of 12 companies, General Electric (GE) led the pack by taking the No. 1 slot, oil and gas provider PG&E took the second spot and then the ranks taper off. What are the glaring absences? Banking, health care, retail, and consulting are just some of the industries that didn't make the list. Keep in mind that utilities have a direct co-relation with CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions, their sustainability efforts get more headlined and are better quantifiable, and therefore, they have better standings in such lists.
While the list does justice to the few American companies that are taking sustainability seriously and inculcating it in their long term strategy, it is also a stark reminder of how far behind we are as members of corporate America in taking up the challenge of sustainability and pushing it to our executives, our boards, our shareholders, and our consumers. With jobs, economy and profit margins on everyone's mind as we ready to hear President Obama give his administration's report card today, it would be of service to ourselves if we realize how closely knit corporate social responsibility and sustainability has become with the future of our domestic and global economy. our global counterparts are way ahead of us, when will we feel the need to catch up?
Do you feel strongly about CSR and sustainability? Does your company go above and beyond to introduce green initiatives in the workplace? Write to us and let's make this a discussion. Or follow In Good Company on Twitter!
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