This week, Newsweek released its annual Green Ranking for U.S. Companies, a measurement of the environmental impact, policies and reputation survey score of the 500 largest publicly traded companies.
Technology companies were the clear standouts of this year's rankings, grabbing eight out of the top 10 spots on the list.
Coming in at No. 1 this year was Dell, a step up from last year's ranking at No. 2. This August, the company released its 2009 Corporate Responsibility Report, in which it highlighted major milestones that are thwarting the company to meeting (and perhaps exceeding) its 2015 goal of reducing its total emissions by 40 percent.
Dell has eliminated the use of more than 18.2 million pounds of packaging material since 2008 and has increased the amount of recycled content in its packaging by approximately 32 percent.
As an added bonus, more than half (57 percent) of Dell’s packaging materials can now be conveniently recycled by customers using their local curbside pick-up programs. The company is aiming for that number to be 75 percent by the end of 2012.
"This ranking truly is the result of collaboration at every level of our business," says Michelle Mosmeyer, spokesperson for Dell's sustainability team.
"Collaborating with suppliers, for example, is helping us reduce inefficiency and the carbon impact of our entire supply chain. And we could not have diverted more than 484 million pounds of equipment from landfills since 2006 without the partnership of our customers. Collaborating on practical green solutions got us here, and were committed to doing more going forward."
Dell wasn't the only standout company on Newsweek's list. While it fell from its No. 1 spot of 2009, HP still came in at No. 2. In 2008, HP became the first major tech company to report its greenhouse gas emissions associated with its supply chain.
According to Newsweek, "If all the printers, PCs and servers shipped in 2005 (all models, all brands, globally) were recycled and replaced with new HP energy-efficient models, the company estimates customers could save more than $10.4 billion in energy costs and avoid the release of more than 40 million metric tons of CO2 in the first year."
The No. 3 spot went to IBM, up from No. 5 on last year's rankings. Among its highly touted green accolades is the company's newest venture, its Sustainability Management System technology, which aims to help clients operate their commercial buildings more efficiently. Earlier this year, the company also introduced an affordable thin-film solar cell made of common elements like zinc, tin, sulfur, copper and selenium.
Rounding out the rest of the Newsweek top 10 were International Business Machines (No. 3), Johnson & Johnson (No. 4), Intel (No. 5), Sprint Nextel (No. 6), Adobe Systems (No. 7), Applied Materials (No. 8), Yahoo! (No. 9) and Nike (No. 10). Each company scored above 92 out of 100 on overall green performance.