My guest on Nature of Business this week was Mike Bellamente, Director of Climate Counts. The conversation was particularly timely because it also was the day that Climate Counts celebrated the release of its annual company scorecard report. We talked about the scorecard, the politicization of climate change, the uptick in corporate attention being paid to with regard to climate change and emissions, as well as the climate change challenges.
As Kristine Wong reported in GreenBiz, Unilever had the top score of 91 out of 100 points. A winner two years in a row now, and they show no signs of slowing down. In fact, Uniliever CEO Paul Polman has set the target of doubling the size of the company by 2020 while reducing emission by half. This is impressive and certainly sets the standard for what is possible in the corporate world when CEO buy-in is there.
So, despite the overall dismal news that we hear about greenhouse gas emissions, there is some good news here and reason to be optimistic, though not all companies are getting it. Low-ranked companies like Amazon, Wendy’s, Burger King have a great deal of work to do. But more and more, companies are embracing sustainability to maintain a competitive edge, reduce risk and cost.
One trend that Bellamente sees is a great deal of collaboration among companies, and mentioned the Sustainable Apparel Coalition as one example where companies are working together to determine which materials go into their products, striving for those whose life-cycle has the least impact.
Working on sustainability issues is challenging stuff and educating the consumer is a major challenge. Thankfully, Climate Counts is doing the legwork to show us which companies are taking charge and taking climate change seriously so we can make better informed decisions when it comes to our purchases and hopefully pass this information on to all of our friends.