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Which consumer products companies are doing what counts for the environment?

Posting in Environment

Just in time for holiday shopping, Climate Counts lets us know which consumer brand companies have been naughty and which have been nice.

Just in time for the Black Friday retail extravaganza (or at what we HOPE will be a retail extravaganza), the non-profit group Climate Counts has published its third annual list of major companies that have embraced some sort of voluntary improvement program related to climate change and corporate sustainability.

The companies on the list represent some of the world's best known and most dominant brand, such as the top-ranked company on the Climate Counts list, Nike. The company earned a scored of 83 points out of a possible 100. The sector that made the biggest "strides" forward over the last year were the 12 electronics companies on the list as well as the four companies that hail from the consumer shipping industry, according to the blog the organization posted about the results.

Personally speaking, I found the Internet/Software list particularly intriguing, especially considering all the hooplah about the next wave of computing -- the so-called cloud. There are five companies listed in this category, led by Microsoft, which jumped up 23 points on the list to 61. eBay, which is No. 2 here, leapt 48 points to earn a 53, which was one point better than Google with a 52! Would-be cloud computing giant Amazon earned a measly 14 points, which has apparently done an abysmal jump in letting people know what it's doing.

In fact, if there is a lesson to be learned about this list, it is that you need to have SOME public policy on climate change -- although you do need to avoid the dreaded greenwashing trap.

Come on, Amazon, what's up with that? You don't need this sort of thing right before the release of the Nook e-reader. Come to think of it, what IS Barnes and Noble's corporate stance on climate change? What about Borders? That's the sort of thing that might guide my buying behavior in the future, not just price.

Here's the overview of the scores, as well as links where you can navigate through the various industry lists.

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Heather Clancy

Section Editor

Heather Clancy has written for United Press International, ZDNet, Entrepreneur, Fortune Small Business, the International Herald Tribune and the New York Times. She holds a degree from McGill University. She is based in New Jersey. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure