Hot on the heels of Popular Science's ranking of America's 50 greenest cities, Condé Nast Portfolio gets in the act with The Green 11, "some of America's most eco-savvy corporations." Included in the list are some of the usual suspects -- Whole Foods, Organic Valley, Tesla Motors -- and some that have been working on greening their business over the past few years, like Wal-Mart and General Electric.
Each of the companies on the list has made notable improvements in their environmental performance, whether influenced by altruism or the bottom line (or both). But when it comes to what's driving the list (were there any metrics? And who was at number 12, and why didn't they make it?), there isn't a whole lot there.It's important that we applaud big companies making big changes -- Bank of America's internal recycling program saves the equivalent of more than 200,000 trees a year, and they offer employees who buy hybrid cars a $3,000 cash-back incentive, for example -- but it's difficult to get behind Dupont in this list, whose accolades include reducing emissions of both greenhouse gases and airborne carcinogens, and hiring a former head of Greenpeace as a consultant.
That's not to say that Dupont hasn't done good green things, but when that's all we've got to go on, it doesn't make for a very meaningful list. The list flip-flops back 'n forth in this manner, providing some interesting details and some less meaningful accomplishments, from top to bottom, which makes it sound more like they're rehashing various press releases than actually testing and measuring companies in a way that levels the playing field and creates a useful list.