Fortune's Green Giants Aren't All Green


Fortune Magazine is following what seems like every other magazine out there with its own "first-ever green edition." Among pages on Schwarzenegger's credentials and the new big business of clean technology, Fortune has put together a list of the top ten greenest mega-corps.

While it is nice to see that some of these monster corporations have have green credentials (each of the companies listed has between 5 and 380 thousand employees,) it can be difficult to make the big businesses of auto-making, aluminum refining, and tar-sand mining to sound environmental at all.

Reading the list, it becomes obvious that there's only one way to measure green credentials from Fortune's perspective, and that is to compare each company to other companies in the same sector. Yes, Alcan is greener than Alcoa and Suncor is greener than Exxon. But that doesn't make Alcan and Suncor green.So while a part of the TreeHugger spirit is alive here, it seems obvious that many of these companies wouldn't even need to exist in a true sustainable world, making the Fortune Green Giant list a difficult bite to swallow.

Making the List are:
"Honda: the most fuel efficient car company in the US"
"Continental Airlines: Worked with Boeing to engineer more fuel-efficient aircraft."
"Suncor: Measures the environmental impact of each project."
"Tesco: Cut energy use and is trying to get customers to think green."
"Alcan: Investing in clean, efficient manufacturing ."
"PG&E;: Strategic investments in efficiency and renewables."
"S.C. Johnson: Three generations of committed environmental stewardship."
"Goldman Sachs: Bold climate-change policy shapes major investments."
"Swiss Re: Developing financial tools to deal with the risks of climate change."
"Hewlett-Packard: Silicon Valley's longtime industry leader in eco-sensitivity."