Green ratings systems for companies and products continue to proliferate and some are too influential to ignore. We estimate that 80+ company ratings systems (e.g., Calvert Ratings, Ceres, Climate Counts, Dow Jones, etc.) exist and 200+ programs rate products (e.g., Energy Star, GoodGuide, etc.). Ecolabelling.org lists hundreds of them. Colleges and universities face at least 6 different rating programs. Greenpeace recently released its rankings on electronics industry (Nokia is #1 with Ninendo last) and its report on seafood practices at retailers is influential (Wegmans and Ahold are at the top, while Trader Joe's and Meijer rank at the bottom).
Dave Douglas, Chief Sustainability Officer at Sun Microsystems, was particularly articulate about the inherent "morality" implicit in each rating system. Click here to watch a short video of his talk at our conference last year on this topic.
Green ratings programs obviously need to be monitored and organizations need to participate in the more influential ones. Today is a different world than it was 5 years ago, especially with the proliferation of social media, easy web publishing and smart phones. All companies will operate in a world of significantly more transparency. This is particularly problematic for bad news, which travels so quickly on the internet (e.g., look at the customer service problems with Google's new phone). What are your thoughts? Are you inundated with Green Rating systems?
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