Climate change calls for cuts in carbon emissions

These US companies are leading the way. Industry produces 23% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, which makes cleaning up businesses a crucial part of the fight against climate change. Evaluating such efforts is complex and daunting, requiring deep dives into multiple, sometimes conflicting metrics. Even how companies should measure their carbon footprints is a work in progress.

To help cut through the confusion of which companies have reduced their greenhouse gas emissions, an inaugural list of America’s Climate Leaders was developed for USA TODAY by market research firm Statista. It is a data-driven recognition of companies that cut their carbon footprint in recent years, a noteworthy achievement for investors, customers and anyone who is trying to make sense of these still-evolving measures.

“The business sector is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. That makes them a main point of potential improvement,” said Magali Delmas, a professor of management and faculty director of the Center for Impact at the University of California, Los Angeles.

After months of investigation and data-crunching, an original lineup of 2,000 U.S.-based companies was narrowed to 400 U.S. companies that cut their emissions intensity from 2019 to 2021.

The ranking uses multiple indicators to gain a picture of how good job companies are doing in this piece of the climate solution.

For consumers and investors, the ranking gives a sense of a company’s trajectory along an increasingly important metric of success.

Though lowering emissions may not immediately affect profitability, such measures will become more important in the long run as governments, including the United States, begin requiring entities to do their part to reduce global warming or at least report their exposure to the threats it poses.

The full, interactive list below allows readers to sort by a variety of criteria, including year-over-year reduction of emission intensity, emission intensity, how many tons of CO2 equivalents the company emitted, total emissions reduction, and whether a company participated in two highly regarded programs that set targets for and account for emissions, the CDP and Science Based Targets initiative.


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