You've heard of the Fortune 500, and the Indy 500. Well, there's a new 500 in town, and he's not here to mess around. Introducing Newsweek's Green 500, where the biggest companies in America are ranked according to their energy saving initiatives, commitment to recycling, product mix and other criteria.
While admitting the ranking has its limits -- one criteria is "reputation," a slippery concept at best -- Newsweek gets snaps for its in-depth research. Of the top 25 greenest companies, 14 are technology companies like Hewlett-Packard (1), Dell (2), Intel (4) and IBM (5). A surprising number of pharmaceutical firms bubbled to the top as well: Johnson & Johnson (3), Bristol-Meyer Squibb (8) and Allergan (19).
The bottom of the list is -- surprise! -- full of energy utilities and big agribusiness like Archer Daniels Midland (486), Duke Energy (490), ConAgra Foods (497) and, dead last, Peabody Energy (500), a major coal producer, a major polluter and an enemy of environmental regulation since the Nixon administration.
It'll be fun to see how folks at the top and bottom of the list react to their rankings, and if they try to flood the airwaves with news celebrating their environmental efforts, be they real or greenwashing.
And how green is your company?