Recently, many governments have slowed their momentum as far as environmental regulations policy creation efforts are concerned. This means that it is up to major corporations around the world to be more proactive about going green. One motivation is to be recognized by businesses and consumers as a environmentally friendly company. Newsweek annually ranks global companies and recently released their World’s Greenest Companies Rankings for 2011. They take into account “actual environmental footprints, management (policies, programs, initiatives, controversies), and reporting practices of each big company.” Using these hard facts and ignoring the publicity and public relations efforts companies may have made gives the most accurate picture of how firms are actually doing environmentally. To explore Newsweek’s detailed methodology, click here

Due to the nature of their business models, financial, telecommunications, and technology companies were able to dominate the green list. None of these types of businesses are heavy into manufacturing or extremely environmentally damaging activities so their footprint is much less than companies that contain a large internal supply chain. In fact, nine of the top ten fall into one of these three relatively environmentally friendly industries.

European companies also have a slight advantage in this ranking because their regulations require them to be much more transparent about green initiatives and accomplishments. However, the top 20 on the list are from several different countries. Topping the list is the German based Munich Re – a reinsurance and insurance provider in the financial industry. Munich Re has been monitoring its effect on the climate since the mid 70’s. It has also been instrumental in green energy initiatives and its office building is now carbon-neutral. These along with many other initiatives have placed them at the top of the list.

Many of the top companies on this list have made impressive strides to be more environmentally friendly. While some industries may have an advantage on this ranking due to the nature of their work, each company leading this pack has put substantial time and effort into reducing their environmental impact. Here are the top ten global green companies:

1. Munich Re (Germany)
2. IBM (United States)
3. National Australia Bank (Australia)
4. Bradesco (Brazil)
5. ANZ Banking Group (Australia)
6. BT Group (United Kingdom)
7. Tata Consultancy Services (India)
8. Infosys (India)
9. Philips (Netherlands)
10. Swisscom (Switzerland) 

For the full list, click here!

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