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Submitted by: SustainableBusiness.com
Posted: Jul 18, 2007 – 09:00 AM EST
20 Companies Changing the World for the Better
20 Companies Changing the World for the Better
NEW YORK- July 18, 2007 – SustainableBusiness.com today announced its 2007 Sustainable Business 20 (SB20) List: The World’s Top Sustainable Stocks.
The SB20 list, now in its sixth year, is comprised of the 20 most innovative companies, large and small, that are having an important impact on creating an environmentally sustainable society.
The list is presented in the Progressive Investor newsletter, published by SustainableBusiness.com, which tracks sustainable stocks.
"Our goal is to create a list that showcases public companies that, over the past year, have made substantial progress in either greening their internal operations or growing a business based on an important green technology, says Rona Fried, Ph.D., SustainableBusiness.com CEO and Editor of Progressive Investor.
To choose the 20 companies that make up the list, SustainableBusiness.com partnered with KLD Research & Analytics, a leading provider of environmental, social and governance research and indexes. KLD provided a preliminary universe of 50 global companies with strong "green" initiatives and solid financials. KLD also served as a judge along with five leading green investment analysts to decide on the final list.
Energy Efficiency /Renewable Energy
This year, energy efficiency took center stage. The less sexy sister of renewable energy, efficiency offers the least expensive, best economic returns, and most dramatic ways to reduce greenhouse emissions, simply by reducing energy consumption in the first place. No subsidies are needed.
We chose Comverge, Royal Philips Electronics, Fuel Tech and Novozymes to represent leading companies on energy efficiency. Comverge sells energy-management technologies, which automatically turn power on and off when demand exceeds supply on the grid. That results in enormous energy savings and, by cutting peak demand, it keeps the filthiest fossil fuel plants off-line. The world leader in lighting, Philips has been snapping up market share in LED lighting as it advocates for and prepares to stop producing inefficient incandescents. Fuel Tech’s technology cleans up the dirtiest fossil fuel plants, and Novozymes, the world leader in "green chemicals," is reducing energy use and toxics by replacing synthetic ingredients in a host of industries with biological enzymes – they are key to industrial efficiency and the use of cellulosic biofuels.
In renewable energy, REC is the most vertically integrated solar company in the world and First Solar is the first public company to integrate thin film technology into high volume, low cost production. Vestas, the world’s premier wind company, has maintained its leadership position despite heavy competition. Ormat is a world leader in geothermal energy, and Schmack Biogas is the world's leading biogas plant manufacturer, turning organic wastes into electricity, heat or fuels.
Natural Resources: Water, Forests
BWT Water Technology is one of the rare water companies that uses only environmentally responsible technologies. A new water filter for households and industry relies on magnetic fields instead of chemicals. Precious Woods is the world’s only publicly traded sustainable forestry company, operating in the Brazilian and Congo rainforests.
The UK's largest property developer and owner, Land Securities, is upgrading energy efficiency throughout its property portfolio; all new buildings meet green building standards. It is working toward company-wide use of gray water, rainwater harvesting systems, using only FSC-certified wood, and serving Fair Trade/ Organic foods in its cafeterias.
Interface, one of the most respected and cherished companies by sustainability afficionados, continues its climb up "Mount Sustainability," innovating in the materials and processes used to make carpet tiles. Furniture maker Herman Miller, another stalwart sustainability leader, is 63% on its way to achieving its goal of Zero Ecological Footprint by 2020.
Canon has set a very aggressive target for a company of its size – to cut C02 emissions by 50% per unit of sales by 2010, from a 2000 benchmark. It’s making its products smaller and lighter to reduce its environmental footprint.
It's not easy to "just do it" when your manufacturing is outsourced to subcontractors, but Nike is showing it's possible. Its very impressive sustainability report drills down to the finest details of the company's operations and products. It is transforming its products by using green design principles, rooting out waste and toxics, and planning for carbon neutrality by 2015.
Natural Foods/ Natural Products
Groupe Danone, the world's largest dairy company, is converting more to organic dairy and sustainable agriculture. Last year, it launched Grameen Danone Foods, a joint venture with microfinance bank Grameen Group. Its purpose is to provide nutritionally dense, basic foods, along with solar energy and biogas to low income, nutritionally deprived populations in Bangladesh. It will also provide hundreds of jobs for communities that take care of the cattle, produce and sell the products. The goal is to set up 50 plants throughout India in the next 10 years.
The world's largest retailer of organic/ natural products, Whole Foods, and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, the leader in Fair Trade/ Organic coffee, have been on the SB20 since inception. They are exemplary models all around, and are largely responsible for the mainstreaming of natural foods/ sustainable coffee. Both companies are climate neutral.
Chipotle Mexican Grill, with over 600 restaurants, is making waves in the world of fast food by serving free range meats and integrating organic ingredients into its menus.
Google made some impressive first sustainability announcements last month. Besides being climate neutral by 2008, it co-founded the Climate Savers Computing Initiative, a challenge to the industry to ramp up energy-efficient personal computers and server systems to 90% efficiency by 2010. It just turned on the switch for the first phase of its 1.6 megawatt solar array, and runs the largest corporate shuttle commuter program in the U.S., while offering employees cash incentives to purchase hybrids.
The SB20 List for 2007 - Alphabetical Order
Best Water Technology (Vienna: BWT.VI) (Austria)
Canon (NYSE: CAJ) (Japan)
Comverge (Nasdaq: COMV) (USA)
Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) (USA)
First Solar (Nasdaq: FSLR) (USA)
Fuel Tech (Nasdaq: FTEK) (USA)
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (Nasdaq: GMCR) (USA)
Groupe Danone (DANO.PA) Netherlands
Herman Miller (Nasdaq: MLHR) (USA)
Interface (Nasdaq: IFSIA) (USA)
Land Securities (London: Land.L) Britain
NIKE, Inc. (NYSE: NKE) (USA)
Novozymes (Copenhagen: NZYM.CO) Denmark
Ormat Technologies (NYSE: ORA) (USA)
Precious Woods (Geneva: SWX: PRWN) Swizerland
Renewable Energy Corp - REC (Oslo: REC.OL) Norway
Royal Philips Electronics NV (NYSE: PHG) Netherlands
Schmack Biogas AG (Germany: SB1B.DE) Germany
Vestas (Copenhagen: VWS.CO) Denmark
Whole Foods Market (Nasdaq: WFMI) (USA)
Google, Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG)
The SB20 Judges:
Andrew Brengle, Senior Research Analyst, KLD Research & Analytics
Rafael Coven, Managing Partner, Cleantech Indices LLC
Matt Patsky, Managing Director, Winslow Green Growth Fund
Patrick McVeigh, President, Reynders, McVeigh Capital Management
Max Deml, Editor & Publisher, Oeko Invest Publishing Ltd
Ton Rennen, Senior Sustainability Analyst, Triodos Bank NV
About Progressive Investor
Progressive Investor is a monthly sustainable investing newsletter that provides on-going analysis of clean technology investment opportunities, such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, green building and healthy lifestyle.
SustainableBusiness.com, now in its 12th year, provides global news and networking services to help green businesses grow: Daily Sustainable Business and Investor news, Green Dream Jobs, and Progressive Investor.
About KLD Research & Analytics, Inc.
KLD Research & Analytics, Inc. is an independent investment research firm providing investment management tools used by professionals to serve clients requiring investment strategies based on social and environmental responsibility.