Campbell's, GE, HP, Nike Rank Among Top Green-Minded Firms

A new report from Two Tomorrows tries to pierce the veil of greenwash claims and identify which companies are best adding value and stability to their brands with their sustainability efforts -- and which are likely to disappoint in the long-term.

A new report from Two Tomorrows tries to pierce the veil of greenwash claims and identify which companies are best adding value and stability to their brands with their sustainability efforts -- and which are likely to disappoint in the long-term.

The Tomorrow's Value Rating 2011 report from Two Tomorrows looks at the sustainability performance of 92 companies and ranks them into eight groups. Only 11 firms made the top-level cut to a triple-A rating:

Campbell's, Danone, General Electric, Glaxosmithkline, HP, Intel, Nestlé, Nike, Panasonic, Siemens and Unilever.

"The companies we have identified in the top tier have something different about them," Mark Line, Executive Chairman of the Two Tomorrows Group, writes in the report. "None of them are held back by fundamental questions about their sustainability -- for example, reliance on non-renewable resources. Where there are concerns, we can see that they have mapped out a clear path to transitioning their business into a different model. Beyond that, they are skilled in harnessing innovation as a driving force to unlock new, more sustainable possibilities, and this is starting to resonate with their partners, customers and end consumers."

Although the report notes that each of the 92 companies included in the Value Rating are "doing good things" for sustainability, companies in the top three categories -- AAA, AA and BAA -- are the true leaders.

"These are the companies describing management approaches that can deliver these amazing examples of responsibility now and into the future," the report notes. "We believe that the strongest companies of tomorrow will be those with the best sustainability practices today, and we expect great things from these companies."

The methodology that Two Tomorrows uses to rank companies is based on four areas of performance:

• governance structures
• management along the entire value chain
• stakeholder engagement processes
• commitment to innovation

 

In looking at the bottom tier of companies -- particularly the 16 companies that landed in the CAA, CA and C rankings -- Two Tomorrows questions how the firms on that list have even made it into "best of the best" rankings like the Newsweek Green Rankings or the Best Corporate Citizens list.

"Are these companies producing glossy reports with little substance?" The report's authors ask. "Are these examples of green-washing at its worst? Maybe. While sustainability reports from these companies lack the evidence to prove a sound approach to sustainability, this may be a problem of communication rather than commitment."

Finally, Two Tomorrows includes five key findings, backed up by case studies from some of the top-performing companies:

  • Innovation is the cutting edge of sustainability,
  • Leaders consider the whole value chain
  • The very best companies are embedding sustainability in core decision-making
  • Some companies are just repackaging business as usual, but the leaders address the sticky issues
  • Paucity of targets is symptomatic of a lack of direction

Download the full report from TwoTomorrows.com.