MANCHESTER, N.H. — The pharmaceutical industry has emerged as a leader in measuring and reporting its carbon footprint compared to other sectors, according to the latest Climate Counts Scorecard released today.

But although the industry as a whole outscored more than a dozen other sectors, it still needs to improve its performance in reducing its greenhouse gas emissions and taking a policy stance on climate legislation, Climate Counts found.

AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson sat at the top of the heap, with scores of 76 and 75 out of 100 points, respectively.
AstraZeneca was the highest scoring company in the pharmaceutical sector.
Image courtesy of Climate Counts

The pharmaceutical sector as a whole outperformed 13 other sectors, with more than 87 percent of the companies earning a “striding” icon -- the highest rating possible. The sector excelled in the “review” and “report” categories, but shows room for improvement in the “reduce” and “policy” sections.

“The high climate marks earned by the pharmaceutical industry are yet more proof that climate action and profit can be the prescription for climate change,” Climate Counts Executive Director Wood Turner said in a statement today. “Still, while the sector has done well at measuring its impact and talking about climate change, we’re still not seeing the kinds of greenhouse gas emissions reductions we’d expect.”

The nonprofit has now evaluated 14 sectors on 22 criteria to determine corporate climate change commitment, including measuring and reducing impacts, supporting climate laws and communicating their efforts. Sectors and the companies within them are assigned a rating -- striding, starting or stuck -- that allows consumers to compare companies against their peers.
Climate Count Scorecard Rankings
Image courtesy of Climate Counts

The sector scored an overall average of 55.6, the highest industry score of any industry. Thirteen out of 15 companies evaluated earned a “striding” rating. That compares to the lowest scoring sector -- toys and children’s equipment -- where eight out of 13 companies analyzed received a score of zero.

More than 120 companies representing some 3,000 brands have been analyzed by Climate Counts, a nonprofit launched in June 2007 and comprised of business and climate experts. (Full disclosure: GreenBiz.com Executive Editor Joel Makower is a Climate Counts board member.)

Other sectors to receive a scorecard include airlines, beverages and beer, consumer shipping, food products, hotels, Internet and software, apparel and accessories, commercial banking, electronics, food services, household products, toys and children’s equipment, and media.
The pharmaceutical sector's rankings. Click for full-sized.
INSERT ALT TEXT HERE

"Image licensed by stock.xchng user zeathiel.