Newsweek’s 2010 Green Rankings, released this week, show the importance of CSR reporting in building a green reputation. CorporateRegister.com users contributed to the Rankings again this year, scoring the green reputations of the biggest US and Global companies.
The collective expertise of the site’s registered users is a key reason why Newsweek approached CorporateRegister.com to be a data partner in this programme. This is the second year of the annual Green Rankings, established as one of the key corporate green benchmarking programmes, and certainly the most sophisticated.
CorporateRegister.com’s Reputation Score is one of three elements used to calculate the final ranking, together with an Environmental Impact Score and a Green Policies Score.
The results demonstrate that companies that are transparent about their performance and respond positively to stakeholders and the media often rate higher than companies with less of a public profile. More significantly, the reputation score reveals that green communications can be a decisive factor in how companies are perceived.
Consider Coke vs. Pepsi. PepsiCo beats the Coca-Cola Company in overall performance score: 37.78 vs. 31.40. But when it comes to measuring green reputation, Coke is king: 93.08 vs. Pepsi’s 68.13. What explains the difference? Coke puts a far greater emphasis on green communications and related activities than its arch-rival. Of course, it should be noted that both companies’ green reputation is better than their actual green performance.
While green communications can enhance a company’s reputation and lift its score in the Green Rankings, the opposite also seems to be the case: companies that largely ignore green communications don’t seem to score as well as they might in the Reputation survey. Consider the results for three household names in the Financial Services sector: Visa, MasterCard and American Express. None are prominent green communicators. Only American Express has ever issued a green report (a corporate citizenship report in late 2007). In each case the company’s reputation survey score is markedly lower than the performance score.
In general good reputation is linked with good performance, and poor reputation with poor performance. That’s a lesson that all companies can take to heart.
The full Green Rankings 2010 report is available to buy from CorporateRegister.com here. Summary findings and analysis are included in this week’s Newsweek.