The current issue of Newsweek presents the 2010 Green Rankings of the 500 largest US companies, and the 100 largest companies worldwide. This is the second annual Green Rankings, and like last year, MSCI ESG Research was a core provider of research and analysis for the project. Joel Makower at Greenbiz.com writes that the Green Rankings have “become a major metric in corporate America.” He describes how, in a recent meeting with 30 corporate sustainability officers, almost all of them knew their firms’ positions on the list.
Mr. Makower also provides some points to keep in mind as we compare one company’s ranking to another’s, and compare this year’s list to last year’s. He explains that the methodology changed somewhat since last year; that the scores are normalized so that a “100” score doesn’t indicate perfection, but rather than a firm has done comparatively better than all others; and that there is some “subjectivity” behind the analysis and rankings of each company.
Sharon Squillace, the MSCI ESG Research Analyst responsible for the Green Rankings project, offered to explain some of the thinking behind the Rankings methodology. She writes that the availability of accurate performance data by researched companies helps temper the “subjectivity” of a firm’s Green Ranking: