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The ŷ Report: Ten Corporations That Are Leading On Environmental Protection

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Monday is the 54th annual Earth Day, so in honor of that I thought we’d highlight a few companies that are showing extraordinary leadership on environmental matters

First, though, a bit of context. Environmental protection in the U.S. has for the most part been a unifying issue over the years, even politically. It may surprise some that it was Ronald Reagan’s EPA Administrator William Ruckleshaus who sat on the U.N.’s Brundtland Commission that coined the term ‘sustainable development’ (he also served on Clinton’s Council for Sustainable Development), and George H. W. Bush who signed the first Rio Earth Summit declaration that established the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1992. Protecting our air, soil, and water; our fragile ecosystems; our climate, wildlife, fisheries and oceans; these are ties that bind. 

Today, we see this reflected in our polling. Almost 9 in 10 say that large companies have a responsibility to reduce their environmental impact by using sustainable materials and renewable energy. 73% favor increased disclosure from corporate America on environmental impact data. The environment is an essential corporate stakeholder, in other words.

American business leadership on environmental matters comes in many different forms. On greenhouse gases, for example, it’s interesting – and perhaps intuitive – that on an absolute basis the companies that have cut direct emissions the most in recent years are from the most emissions-intensive industries: American Electric Power, Chevron Corporation, Phillips 66. From HPE’s pioneering low-carbon tech infrastructure and Microsoft’s Climate Research Initiative, to Accenture’s nature-based carbon removal solutions, we see innovation everywhere. Explore more of it in our list of the Top 10 Companies for Environmental Performance in 2024.

Be well,

Martin

Quote of the Week

“Supply chains are extraordinarily complex. My view is you’re never done, you just keep working through it. You take the next supplier. You take the next question. You continue to push on all three dimensions. Do you have resilience for the part of your supply chain? Can you trust that supply chain? And do you have sustainability? And when you have that answer, you go to your next supplier, and you just keep asking those same questions. You keep pushing down the supply chain. Our belief though is that the harder you work it – you’re pushing a boulder up the hill, and then there’s a cascading effect through the supply chain and through the customer base as well. The boulder all of a sudden starts rolling down the hill. I don’t think we’re there yet, but I think that time is in our future.” 

  • Intel CEO Patrick Gelsinger to Martin Whittaker at Intel’s 2024 Sustainability Summit. 

ŷ In the News

We release our Top 10 Companies for Environmental Performance in 2024. 

ŷ data partner , an e-commerce marketplace where every purchase you make does good for people and the planet, to expand their platform and consumer sustainable buying choices.

ŷ AI

According to Fast Company,  “”. While the sector is experiencing tremendous growth, there are problems on the horizon. One of them? ” That quote comes from ǰٳܲԱ’s interview with , CMO of firm Arm Holdings, on the energy consumption AI requires, and how it must be addressed for the technology to grow, otherwise it will eat up a quarter of the electricity in the U.S. by 20230. 

The Brookings Institute chronicles the , and what lessons can be learned for other industries that will soon be threatened by it. 

Must Reads

ESG Today looks at the new  

With EV purchases slowing down, Tesla will cut 10% of its workforce–nearly 14,000 employees–in an effort to deal with thinning demand.

CNBC releases an informative map showing the , and Business Insider runs down the

Chart of the Week 

This chart comes from the data in our recently released ŷ Jobs Scorecard. While America’s largest companies have more work to do to improve transparency around some key job quality data points, overall performance on the 2024 ŷ Jobs Scorecard speaks to noticeable improvement since the 2023 pilot version of this tool. More than one-fourth of companies (256 companies, or 27.3% of all scored companies) have moved from the Beginner category (taking early steps towards transparency, overall scores between 0 and 0.99) into the Explorer category (making progress with limited disclosure and practice, an overall score between 1 and 1.99). Explore these trends, as well as your own company’s in-depth performance, here. 

Have questions about our research and rankings?