Greenest Companies in United States: Does Anyone Care?

Copyright JC Politi Photography
Perito Moreno Glacier, Calafate, Argentina

With the silence coming out of both political parties about the state of our natural environment and its future, I thought it would be helpful to share Newsweek’s rating of the greenest publicly traded companies in the United States.

This election has been all about the economy. And the environment has been only tangentially mentioned as a way to boost the economy by investing in clean jobs and clean energy. The campaign talking points have all related to building the US economy.

I know that people are struggling to find work that pays a living wage. And bankers should be brought to justice for the fiscal recklessness that caused the recession.

I understand why candidates are focusing on the economy and I truly believe that both parties are doing their best to come up with strategies to rebuild the US economy.

But I continue to be baffled about the fact that more than a few politicians put their heads in the sand when it comes to the environment. I am no scientist, but I can’t even imagine the frustration scientists must feel when, in the face of overwhelming evidence that climate change exists and that humans have accelerated its progress, the environment is not a key point of discussion on both sides of the political divide.

This is an issue that crosses party lines and transcends global borders. I had a friend I worked with in a women’s rights organization who used to say, “it won’t matter if women have rights if the planet is destroyed.” That really stuck with me.

The current economic struggles are in our face every day and people are feeling the immediate impact of this crisis. The devastation of the environment is a slower burning problem, but no less consequential.

This is why I am sharing the list of the greenest US companies here. We can vote with our pocketbooks.

I hope you will take a moment to look over this list and see if you might be able to swing your support to some of the greener companies and away from the worst polluters.

That is change I can believe in.

What do you think? Have you been struck by the lack of dialogue around the environment in this election cycle? Why do you think that is? Are you more likely to support a company if you learn that they take the environment into account? Why or why not? And what do you think about the future of green jobs in the United States? Do you think we should make investments in this economy? And do you feel that we are ahead of or behind other countries in making these investments?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading!

26 Comments

Filed under Culture, Economy, Environment, Health, Income inequality, International, Policy, Politcs, Poverty, Role of Government

26 responses to “Greenest Companies in United States: Does Anyone Care?

  1. Two important issues not discussed in depth during this election cycle: the environment and gun control. Frustrating that the people we elect to represent us, for the good of all of us on this planet…continue to dismiss difficult decisions…for the good of all of us on this planet.
    Thank you always for your insight.

    • Thank you!! And I couldn’t agree more about gun control – such a deafening silence because no one is going to do anything about it. I am more frustrated by that that I can possibly say. Thanks so much for reading and for the comment.

  2. Thanks for the list, Jen. This is the kind of thing I try to pay attention to when spending/investing my time and money. I’m baffled by the view of climate change as a problem instead of the kick in the pants and opportunity it represents for us to improve our quality of life, create more job/career opportunities, be more mindful/careful stewards of this beautiful, bountiful planet we call home. Same for gun-control: don’t get the view of promoting violence to achieve peace. xoxoM

  3. We have no vote in the US but have always thought that the fundamental change that nobody wants to even contemplate is paying real (yes, and green) taxes on gas (petrol). Pay a fair tax on the miles you drive and the type of engine in your car/truck and it’s interesting how much more you think about green issues.

  4. Thanks for the list, Jen. I suppose it’s the influence of Big Oil in Washington that keeps the politicians silent on the issue — on both sides of the aisle. Our real hope is that these folks will wake up one day, see the handwriting on the wall, and realize that there is BIG money to be made n clean energy (that’s their only possible motivation). Then things will start to happen.

  5. I am definitely disappointed my the lack of concern for the environment for its own sake on either side of the political spectrum, yet I do buy green products from green companies too! Thanks for the list, I always like to see which companies are deemed the most green! I definitely think we are behind other companies in investing in green and clean technology and ought to be investing much more in basic research, not just investing in economically viable products. Many European countries and China are ahead of us. It is also encouraging that the cost of solar energy and others are coming down. I’m frankly not as concerned about green energy as much as I am in the destruction of ecosystems and the lack of focus on reducing toxic substances in our daily lives. Yet, despite all of our lack of political focus, I am hopeful that somehow there are enough concerned people around the world to make a diffference in lifting up all of the global benefits of caring for the environment that go beyond economics.
    Karen

    • Sorry I meant to write behind other countries, not behind other companies. Must have been a Freudian slip – me thinking the U.S. is being governed like a company! 🙂

    • So true. I am really concerned about the loss of ecosystems too. And it does feel like we are really not leading in this area which is interesting. All the people who talk about American exceptionalism must not be talking about this area, huh? Thanks so much for the comment!

  6. applauding the green companies!

  7. Well none of the parties are addressing the environment, or immigration issues, or climate change. Green jobs are good but they are being fought firstly by the big corporations.

  8. 1) interesting to have all of those tech/computer companies at the top. It is hard to”properly” throw out an old computer or the battery that powers it.
    2) one of my biggest disappointments in the stimulus was the lack of ‘big deal’ type building in infrastructure of the green kind.

  9. Barneysday

    We will hear little from the politicians on a green topic as long as they are bought and paid for by the energy, read that oil, industry. And sad to say. as a story in Friday’s USA Today pointed out, the council that determines whether a building is green, and its Leeds rating, is run by big business, including building and construction companies. In fact, there is only one environmentalist on the the entire council.

    So the point is we still have an incredibly long journey before us, and for now, as in the political arena, big money is winning.

    Great post

    • So true. And with this issue – with its lack of immediate consequences (from the view of many – not me), it will be harder to get people to really focus in on the issue. We are so short-sighted. Thanks so much for the thoughtful comment, Barney!

  10. I do try to stay away from those disposable Swiffer products, preferring the re-useable varieties such as Vileda cleaning products which can be laundered instead of the one-use items.

    Here, the PM is ignoring environmental issues, as well, allowing pipelines to run through earthquake zones among other things. It’s all getting a little scary in this disposable society of ours as landfill mounds get higher and companies ignore restrictions on dumping toxic waste into our waterways. It’s nice to know that there are ‘green’ companies out there taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint. Thanks for sharing the list with us. 🙂

  11. Thanks Jenni. With Sandy wreaking havoc, I am reminded of the PBS Newshour segment a few months back which had a noted Climate Change Oceanologist on. He said very clearly with the sea rise due to global warming, it is like elevating the basketball court. So, when hurricanes come ashore, it is easier for them to dunk a basketball with the elevated starting point. In other words, they cause more flood damage. This is the point of folks like Mercer Investment Consulting who did the global survey with major pensions funds from California to Singapore. The end result is the cost of doing nothing is huge and far exceeds (in the trillions of dollars) the cost of planning ahead. Al Gore is getting shit today by some for saying this havoc is due to global warming – but he is dead on accurate. These companies should be commended for planning ahead. Tnanks for running this post. BTG

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