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Top Green Companies

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The Independent, in conjunction with Ethical Investment Research Services has compiled a list of the top 10 greenest companies in Britain as well as the world. They say: Researchers looked...

Jeff Squires
  • 5 june 2007

The Independent, in conjunction with Ethical Investment Research Services has compiled a list of the top 10 greenest companies in Britain as well as the world.  They say:

"Researchers looked at practices, such as management systems, waste production and water use, and improvements related to climate change. Individual companies’ involvement in positive technologies, such as renewable energy, or incidents of serious environmental damage were also studied. Issues specifically related to certain sectors have also been taken into account."

Britain:

  1. Kingfisher – The owner of the DIY-chain B&Q takes the number-one spot due to its ambitious targets for zero waste at stores and exceptional rates of Forest Stewardship Council certification of timber.
  2. BT Group – The telecoms group signed a three-year electricity supply contract in 2005 that provides nearly all of BT’s UK electricity from renewable sources and combines heat and power (CHP) plants.
  3. Biffa – The only company in the top 10 that is not in the FTSE 100 Index, Biffa provides waste collection, treatment and recycling and disposal services across the UK.
  4. BP – BP’s first target, set in 1997, was to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 10 per cent below its 1990 emissions by 2010. BP achieved its target at the end of 2001.
  5. Unilever – The consumer goods giant incorporates environmental sustainability into its overall business strategy.  It pioneered a zero industrial waste policy, initiated a project to develop an approach towards zero-effluent factories and is rolling out globally applicable agricultural practice guidelines.
  6. Severn Trent – The utility company aims to minimise carbon emissions from operational processes and is increasing its self sufficiency in electricity generation by using renewable resources.
  7. J Sainsbury – The supermarket chain is implementing a number of policies, including on agricultural sourcing, with standards applied worldwide. The retailer also aims to increase its organic products and has policies on local sourcing and on refrigeration and logistics.
  8. BSkyB Group – The media group encourages the use of environmentally friendly materials, is a member of the Climate Group and was the first major media company to make a commitment to becoming carbon neutral.
  9. BHP Billiton – The mining group BHP Billiton makes the top 10 due to the fact that, since 2004, it has required full Lifecycle Assessments (LCAs) for all its mineral products.
  10. M&S Group – The retailer is committed to taking a lead to use sustainable raw materials for its products. This includes sustainable agricultural sourcing and setting of its own standards, and a commitment to retail-certified organic products.

Global:

  1. Vestas Wind Systems – Vestas is the leading manufacturer of wind turbines in the world. The Danish company has more than 30,000 wind turbines generating electricity globally and its high-tech systems are 80 per cent recyclable.
  2. Svenska Cellulosa – The Swedish company SCA makes everything from nappies, sanitary towels and tissues to packaging, papers and pulp. It is Europe’s largest private forest owner, all of which is managed to FSC standard and all wood supplied to its mills to produce papers must meet FSC criteria.
  3. ABN-Amro – The Dutch banking group takes the number three spot in the world rankings.  The firm’s external policy is aimed at predicting environmental developments related to its commercial activities. ABN has developed environmental and social risk policies covering the oil and gas sector, mining, forestry industries, dams and nuclear power.
  4. MTR – This Hong Kong-based railway company is a founding signatory of the HK Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Charter. It is committed to providing leadership in CSR practices and promoting the principles of responsibility by managing its environmental impacts.
  5. Ericsson – The Swedish telecoms group is involved in a Design for Environment programme, which gives product designers guidelines on environmental design with an emphasis on reducing energy consumption.
  6. Westpac Banking – Sustainability is integral to the Australian bank’s values and core business strategy. The company has adopted the Equator Principles, a framework for managing environmental and social risk in project finance.
  7. Kingfisher – The highest-ranked British company (see above).
  8. Phillips – The Dutch electronics company has a policy of embedding sustainability into its organisation and culture, product design, manufacturing processes and business strategy.
  9. BT Group – The second highest-ranked British company (see above).
  10. Matsushita – The Japanese electronics company designs products with improved environmental efficiency and with minimal impact on the environment in mind.

=10. Sanyo – Another Japanese electronics company, Sanyo incorporates sustainability into its business. It assesses the impact of products by using a product certification system.
=10. ABB – The Swiss electronics company ABB aims to become a carbon-neutral organisation. The company carries out a lifecycle assessment study, including its contributions to global warming and ozone depletion, on all major products.

The Independent: Green Leaders: A guide to the world’s greenest companies

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