Friday, April 4, 2008

Grab Bag Friday: Climate Counts

"How You Shop & Invest Changes the World"

I recently went to a lecture by the "CE-Yo" of Stonyfield Farm Yogurt, Gary Hirshberg. At the end of the evening, as we gathered our hats and mittens to leave the auditorium, my friend Amy grinned and said, "I can feel a blog post in the making." Hehe. A couple, probably.

Beginning with Climate Counts. Mr. Hirshberg talked a bit about a new initiative that rates companies according to their commitment to reducing their impact on the environment. According to their website, Climate Counts uses a 0-100 point scale and 22 criteria to determine if companies have:
  • MEASURED their climate "footprint"
  • REDUCED their impact on global warming
  • SUPPORTED (or suggest intent to block) progressive climate legislation
  • Publicly DISCLOSED their climate actions clearly and comprehensively
You could browse the results for hours, so I'll skip straight to what I found to be the most interesting one. At one point, Mr. Hirshberg addressed the mostly college-aged audience and asked:

"What is the coolest company that exists today?"

After one eager-to-please voice offered "Stonyfield Farm?" the rest of the audience agreed that there was only one true answer: Apple.

Now check this out: Out of a possible 100 points (100 being "Striding" and 0 being "Stuck"), what do you think Apple's Climate Counts score is?


Really. You can see the entire report here (.pdf).

To give you some context, Sony scored 51, Hewlit Packard scored 59, and IBM scored 70. Apple scored 2.

Now, Apple has supposedly begun a review of the environmental impact of its products and processes and is due to release that data sometime this year. And that's a start. But a little consumer pressure couldn't hurt. At Climate Counts, you can go to any company's scorecard page and click a link to send an email to the CEO of that company to let them know that their environmental practices matter to you.

Here's the link to Apple's scorecard page. I sent them an email. I plan to browse around and send emails to other companies I shop at. I hope you will too.

Here's a printable pocket guide (.pdf) with a quick view of all the Climate Counts scores.

Here's a little pep talk from the Climate Counts homepage:

When you buy from companies taking responsibility for climate change, you're sending a message that climate change matters to you.

Not all companies share that sense of responsibility. But if they know you're paying attention to what they're doing (or not doing), they'll take action.

As a consumer, you have real power.



Amy Schimler-Safford said...

Howdy Josephine (Josie!) - I love your nickname! Thanks for checking in. Have a great weekend too, are you starting to thaw out yet?

Josephine Cameron said...

Just barely. :)