Fresh off a months-long dispute with Greenpeace over its environmental policies, Apple finds itself in hot water with another advocacy group that rates companies based on their efforts to stop climate change. The computer maker finds itself near the bottom of the list of 56 companies rated by Climate Counts.
Climate Counts ranks companies on a scale of 1 to 100 -- 100 being the best -- based on four criteria: how well the company has measured its climate footprint, reduced its impact on global warming, supports positive climate change legislation and publicly discloses their climate change actions.
The nonprofit organization gave Apple a 2, claiming the company "is not yet taking meaningful action on climate change." In particular, Climate Counts criticized Apple for failing to make public information about whether it measures its impact on global warming and where it stands on public policy matters.
Last month, Apple CEO Steve Jobs published an open letter outlining the company's environmental policies and pledging to remove toxic chemicals from its products. The updated MacBook Pros released by Apple earlier this month were the first to ship with LED-backlit displays, which don't contain the mercury gas used in displays with cold cathode fluorescent lamps.
Apple's score of 2 puts it alongside online auction house eBay, food company Sara Lee, and apparel maker VF Corp. Companies scoring lower include Clorox, Amazon.com, CBS, and Wendy's.
Among companies grouped under the "Electronics" heading, Canon had the top score of 77. Yahoo's 36 was the top score in the Internet/Software group.
Climate Counts plans to update the list every year and encourages consumers to base their buying decisions on companies' climate change efforts. Shoppers can either visit the Climate Counts Web site to check up on companies or they can ask for information about companies via short message from their mobile phones. Consumers can text the message "cc" followed by the company name to 30644 and receive the company's score by return text message.
Climate Counts is funded by Stonyfield Farm, a yogurt company, and is a collaboration with Clean Air-Cool Planet, a nonprofit that promotes ways to slow global warming. GreenOrder, a company that advises businesses on sustainability and corporate responsibility issues, verified the scoring results for accuracy.