Unilever has scored 91 points out of 100 in the Climate Counts 2012-2013 Annual Company Scorecard Report, up from 88 in 2011.
Climate Counts, a non-profit organisation, rated the world’s largest 145 companies (by sales) on their actions to address climate change against a 22-criteria scoring methodology.
Businesses are awarded points for factors such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, supporting progress on climate legislation, and communicating their efforts clearly and comprehensively to consumers.
Unilever’s high score is largely attributable to the progress we are continuing to make against the targets in our Sustainable Living Plan. The Plan is core to our strategy to double the size our business by 2020 while reducing our environmental footprint and increasing our positive impact on society.
“We still have more to do”
“We welcome this acknowledgement by Climate Counts. We still have more to do and we encourage all of our stakeholders to accelerate their commitments to responsible growth since moving in concert is what is needed,” said Unilever CEO Paul Polman.
“Never before has it been so important for business to step up its leadership to address both the causes and the impacts of climate change,” Paul added.
“Ordinary people are increasingly suffering the effects of extreme weather events and the associated food and water shortages. They are expecting us to be responsible in helping them to manage these challenges. Each of us – government, business and civil society – knows what we need to do. It is time to take action.”
Sustainable growth while reducing emissions
Of the top six companies in the 2012 ranking, five – including Unilever – reported year-on-year sales growth from 2010 to 2011, while reducing absolute emissions across some or all of their business units.
“We’re seeing major consumer brands calling climate change by name and meeting aggressive targets to slash emissions – all while turning a profit and growing their business. It is promising to see signs of leadership emerging from the private sector,” said Mike Bellamente, director of Climate Counts.
Unilever was among 15 companies to be placed in a new ‘soaring’ tier in the 2012 ranking – an honour reserved for companies which earned more than 85 points on the Climate Counts Scorecard.
As well as being named the highest scoring company overall, Unilever topped the Food Products sector.
Ben & Jerry’s was also ranked in the Scorecard, improving from 71 points in 2011 to 81 in 2012.