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September 21, 2009

Newsweek Publishes List of Top 500 Green Companies in US
    by Robert Kropp

The mass-market publication uses research from KLD and Trucost to arrive at its rankings.

SocialFunds.com -- That a mass-market publication such as Newsweek has seen fit to rank the top 500 companies in the US, based on their environmental performance, is welcome news for sustainability investors and others who grow increasingly concerned that the political resolve to come to meaningful agreement on climate change in Copenhagen in December is questionable.

Underscoring the importance of efforts to bring the issue of climate change to a general audience in advance of the negotiations to occur in Copenhagen, Prime Minister Gordon Brown of the United Kingdom wrote in Newsweek, "If we miss this opportunity, there will be no second chance sometime in the future, no later way to undo the catastrophic damage to the environment we will cause."

Of as much significance is the fact that Newsweek employed data from such stalwarts of the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investment research sector as KLD Research & Analytics and Trucost, along with CorporateRegister.com, to arrive at its rankings.

KLD, an investment research firm that provides tools for the integration of ESG factors into investment decisions, served as lead partner with Newsweek for the rankings. The firm's Green Policy Score, based on its analysis of corporate environmental policies, programs and initiatives, as well as negative environmental events, provided 45% of each company's overall score in the Newsweek rankings.

Trucost, which provides data and analysis on company emissions and natural resource usage, contributed the Environmental Impact Score for the Newsweek rankings, capturing the total cost of over 700 environmental impacts of a corporation's global operations. Trucost's Environmental Impact Score also provided 45% of each company's overall score.

Corporate Register.com, an online directory of corporate reporting on social responsibility, sustainability and environmental performance, provided the Reputation Score for the rankings, which counted for 10% of each company's overall score.

The top five performers in Newsweek's rankings of the top 500 green companies in the US were Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Johnson & Johnson, Intel, and IBM. The top performer among banks and insurance was Wells Fargo, which ranked thirteenth overall. The top performer in the food and beverage sector was Coca-Cola, which finished 36th, and the top performer among health care companies was Baxter International, which ranked 35th overall.

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