As this year’s Earth Day approaches, the world continues to stare down massive global consequences if governments, businesses, and other institutions do not take ambitious climate action. Released last month, the IPCC’s 2023 Climate Change Report signals that a vast reduction in fossil fuel use is urgently needed to slow global warming and ensure a livable, sustainable future.
Following last year’s SEC proposal to require public companies to disclose climate metrics, it seemed that corporate America was poised to be held accountable for its contributions to climate change. One year later, the rule is still not finalized with the SEC potentially easing requirements for companies following its public comment period.
Our survey research has shown that 86% of Americans, on both sides of the political aisle, are in favor of federal climate disclosure requirements. And with proposed requirements still uncertain, it remains in the hands of corporate leaders to determine what action to take and how it should be disclosed. Transparency will be crucial in the decades to come, and our analysis has shown that corporate leaders across industries are already paving the way.
To shine a light on these leaders and show what “good” looks like, we’re unpacking the efforts of the 36 companies that topped their industries on environmental issues in our 2023 Rankings of America’s Most JUST Companies. Many of these companies, regardless of their sector, have set ambitious emissions targets in an effort to mitigate the climate crisis, going beyond standard disclosure practices to focus their sustainability efforts on elements most material to their business models. And some also appear in our round-up of the top 10 companies leading on environmental performance overall in our Rankings.
Read on to explore how these 36 industry leaders are taking action.
Bank of America
Overall Rank: 1
As one of eight companies in its industry to make a Net-Zero commitment, Bank of America leads its industry on Resource Efficiency and Pollution Reduction. Notably, Bank of America boasts high percentages of renewable energy use, tying for first on this metric, both in its industry and overall. Additionally, Bank of America offers lending to customers for renewable projects and is a member of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net-Zero.
Industry: Commercial Support Services
Overall Rank: 4
Accenture leads its industry on Pollution Reduction and Resource Efficiency. One of four Commercial Support Services companies to have a verified 1.5-Degree Science-Based Target, Accenture is committed to reaching Net-Zero by 2025. Accenture engages with its suppliers to achieve its ambitions, requiring 90% of suppliers to disclose emissions reduction plans and providing sustainable value chain strategies focused on circularity.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
Industry: Computer Services
Overall Rank: 7
Hewlett Packard Enterprise is the only company in the Computer Services Industry with a verified 1.5-Degree Science-Based Target. First in its industry on Pollution Reduction, Sustainable Materials, and Climate Commitments, HPE has set multiple ambitious sustainability targets. HPE requires the adoption of science-based emissions reduction targets for its supply chain and is an early adopter of the reporting recommendation guidelines from the G20 Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).
Industry: Technology Hardware
Overall Rank: 8
Apple is one of three companies in the Technology Hardware Industry to have a verified 1.5-Degree Science-Based Target and has set a near-term target to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030. Thanks to these ambitious commitments, Apple ranks first in its industry for Climate Commitments. Apple is also first in its industry for having the highest percentage of renewable energy usage.
Industry: Semiconductors & Equipment
Overall Rank: 9
Intel has disclosed a 2040 Net-Zero Commitment, aiming to achieve 100% renewable energy in all of its global operations by 2030. Tied for first in its industry for having high percentages of renewable energy usage, Intel maintained 100% renewable energy usage within its U.S.-based operations in 2021.
Overall Rank: 20
T-Mobile is first in its industry on Pollution Reduction, Climate Commitments, and Resource Efficiency. Setting a verified 1.5-Degree Science-Based Target to achieve Net-Zero by 2040, T-Mobile has already achieved its 2021 goal to source 100% of its electricity usage from renewable sources.
Overall Rank: 21
Ecolab’s verified 1.5-Degree Science-Based Target aims to halve the company’s emissions by 2030 and achieve Net-Zero by 2050. Ecolab is one of two companies within its industry to have a verified Science-Based Target and is working to achieve its goals by electrifying fleet vehicles, committing to 100% renewable energy in global operations, and engaging with its supply chain. Ecolab also ties for first in its industry on Sustainable Materials, conducting Life Cycle Assessments on its products to assess their environmental impacts.
Industry: Transaction Processing
Overall Rank: 22
Mastercard has a verified 1.5-Degree Science-Based Target, aiming to reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 38% and Scope 3 emissions by 20% by 2025. One of only three Transaction Processing Companies to have a verified commitment, Mastercard is focusing on the decarbonization of its operations and supply chain.
Industry: Health Care Providers
Overall Rank: 30
Elevance Health’s approach to sustainability is divided into four targets: carbon-neutral operations, 100% renewable energy procurement, science-based emissions reduction targets set by suppliers, and support to individuals challenged with economic insecurity. One of just two Health Care Providers that have committed to a Net-Zero Target, Elevance Health achieved carbon neutrality in 2021.
Overall Rank: 33
Workday ranks first for Environment across all industries. Leading the competitive Software Industry on Pollution Reduction, Sustainable Materials, and Resource Efficiency, Workday has invested $1 million in carbon removal, discloses a verified 1.5-Degree Science-Based Target, and is going a step further to mitigate all historical carbon emissions. Through this ambitious effort, Workday will become one of the first companies to have a lifetime negative carbon footprint.
Overall Rank: 45
Tied for first in its industry for Climate Commitments, Avangrid is one of just two Utilities companies to have set a verified 1.5-Degree Science-Based Target. Avangrid is seeking to achieve carbon neutrality, committing to 100% renewable energy in its corporate buildings by 2030. Avangrid is also tied for first in its industry for having high percentages of renewable energy usage.
Industry: Automobiles & Parts
Overall Rank: 50
General Motors is one of just two companies in the Automobiles & Parts industry to have set a verified 1.5-degree Science-Based Target. The company’s Climate Action Framework is centered around creating an equitable transition to electric vehicles and improving the overall sustainability of its current products. Tied in its industry on the Sustainable Materials Issue, General Motors also ranks first overall for Pollution Reduction.
Industry: Aerospace & Defense
Overall Rank: 54
As part of its 2025 Sustainability Plan, Lockheed Martin set a 2030 target to reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 70%. One of nine Aerospace & Defense companies to set an emissions reduction target, Lockheed Martin has pledged that, by 2025, it will offset 100% of carbon emissions from business travel as well as continue to invest in and install carbon removal technologies.
McCormick & Co
Industry: Food, Beverage, & Tobacco
Overall Rank: 57
McCormick & Co has set a verified 1.5-Degree Science-Based Target to reach Net-Zero by 2050, one of only six companies in its industry to do so. Tied for first in its industry for Climate Commitments, McCormick is also working to reduce its carbon footprint by adopting more sustainable packaging practices.
Industry: Commercial Vehicles & Machinery
Overall Rank: 67
Cummins’ Planet 2050 sustainability strategy aims to reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 50% and Scope 3 emissions of newly sold products by 25%. Also by 2050, Cummins pledges to reduce absolute water consumption by 30%. Cummins is one of just two companies in its industry to have a verified 1.5-Degree Science-Based Target and is tied for first in its industry on Climate Commitments.
Overall Rank: 78
Akamai leads its industry with five main sustainability targets for 2030, including 100% renewable energy to power global operations, a 50% more energy efficient platform, 100% mitigation of operational emissions, engagement with suppliers to set their own emission reduction targets with results evident by 2030, and recycling 100% of e-waste. Through these initiatives, Akamai has committed to reaching Net-Zero emissions by 2030.
Industry: Industrial Goods
Overall Rank: 87
Ball Corp has set a verified 1.5-Degree Science-Based Target to achieve Net-Zero by 2050 and continues to improve the sustainability of its products, aiming to source 100% of its aluminum from certified sustainable sources. First in its industry for Sustainable Materials, Ball Corp is working with its supply chain to ensure that the aluminum used in its cans and bottles are, on average, 85% recycled content.
Industry: Building Materials & Construction
Overall Rank: 96
With a 2030 pledge to reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 50% and Scope 3 emissions by 30%, Owens Corning ties for first in its industry for Climate Commitments, also setting a verified 1.5-Degree Science-Based Target – one of only two companies in its industry to do so. Owens Corning is a member of the Better Plants Program, a Department of Energy initiative to improve and advance energy efficiency in commercial and industrial buildings in the U.S.
Industry: Clothing & Accessories
Overall Rank: 97
Nike’s Move to Zero initiative has demonstrated the company’s commitment to emissions reduction. With a verified 1.5-Degree Science-Based Target, Nike has set three 2025 targets centered around reducing emissions by prioritizing sustainable materials, using recycled waste in Nike products, and reducing fresh water consumption by 25%. Nike leads its industry on Pollution Reduction, with the highest percentage of renewable energy usage among its peers.
Johnson & Johnson
Industry: Pharmaceuticals & Biotech
Overall Rank: 101
First in its industry for Pollution Reduction and Sustainable Materials, Johnson & Johnson is finding innovative ways to reduce the environmental impacts of its products through multiple sustainability-focused partnerships. Johnson & Johnson also has set a verified 1.5-Degree Science-Based Target and is committed to reaching Net-Zero by 2045.
Industry: Medical Equipment & Services
Overall Rank: 104
First in its industry for Climate Commitments, Edwards Lifesciences is one of just two Medical Equipment & Services companies with a verified 1.5-Degree Science-Based Target to reach carbon neutrality by 2030. Additionally, Edwards Lifesciences has set 2025 targets to reduce both waste generation intensity and water withdrawal intensity by 10%.
Industry: Consumer Services
Overall Rank: 103
In 2021, eBay achieved carbon neutrality in its Scope 1 and 2 emissions. With a verified 1.5-Degree Science-Based Target to achieve Net Zero by 2030, eBay is also working to increase its renewable energy use and reduce its water consumption and waste generation. eBay is first in its industry for Pollution Reduction, Sustainable Materials, and Climate Commitments and is the only Consumer Services company with a 1.5-degree climate commitment.
Procter & Gamble
Industry: Personal Products
Overall Rank: 106
First in its industry for Pollution Reduction and Resource Efficiency, Procter and Gamble has set a verified 2-Degree Science-Based Target to reach Net-Zero by 2040. Disclosing a comprehensive Climate Transition Action Plan, the company is investing in renewable energy and is tied for first in its industry for the highest percentage of renewable energy usage.
Industry: Household & Leisure Goods
Overall Rank: 113
Second in its industry for Sustainable Materials, Hasbro is working to improve the sustainability of its products, using plant-based or recyclable materials in its toys, continuing its global toy recycling program, and implementing sustainable packaging principles. Hasbro is also setting a Net-Zero target for 2050, one of only four companies in its industry to do so.
Industry: Food & Drug Retailers
Overall Rank: 120
First in its industry for Climate Commitments, CVS has set a verified 1.5-Degree Science-Based target to reach Net-Zero by 2050 and a 2030 goal of achieving carbon neutrality. CVS has a three-tiered climate action plan focused on enabling sustainable operations, adopting new climate policies, and promoting animal welfare. CVS has also set a 2030 target to reduce plastic use in its operations by 50% and is tied for first in its industry for its commitment to using Sustainable Materials.
Industry: Consumer & Diversified Finance
Overall Rank: 124
Ameriprise Financial leads its industry on Sustainable Materials and Resource Efficiency. By implementing sustainable practices in its operations, including increasing building energy efficiency and reducing paper waste, Ameriprise Financial has lowered its Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions.
Industry: Capital Markets
Overall Rank: 131
Leading its industry on Climate Commitments, Goldman Sachs has set a 2030 Net-Zero target. Goldman Sachs also boasts high percentages of renewable energy use and has a 2025 goal of procuring 100% renewable energy for its global electricity consumption.
Principal Financial Group
Overall Rank: 138
Principal Financial Group has set both near- and long-term climate targets, including a 2035 goal to reduce emissions by 40% and a 2050 goal to reach Net-Zero. Year-over-year since 2018, Principal Financial Group has consecutively reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Tying for first in its industry for Pollution Reduction, approximately 61% of Principal Financial’s energy consumption in the U.S. is from renewable resources.
Industry: Oil & Gas
Overall Rank: 173
Marathon Petroleum has set reduction targets across all three scopes of emissions, including a 30% reduction of Scope 1 and 2 by 2030 and a 15% reduction of Scope 3 Category 11 emissions by 2030. First in its industry for Sustainable Materials, Marathon Petroleum conducts biodiversity assessments and has set a 2025 target to integrate sustainable vegetation and habitat management into 50% of the areas surrounding pipelines.
Overall Rank: 178
FedEx has set a goal to achieve carbon neutral operations through the electrification of its fleet vehicles and the adoption of sustainable fuels. FedEx is also engaging with consumers and suppliers to offer carbon-offset shipping and sustainable packaging options.
Industry: Real Estate
Overall Rank: 205
Weyerhaeuser has set a verified 1.5-Degree Science-Based Target, pursuing Net-Zero by 2050. The company also launched the Forest to Frame Alliance to engage its entire supply chain in its Net-Zero ambitions. First in the Real Estate Industry in Pollution Reduction and Resource Efficiency, Weyheauser is second in its industry for high percentages of renewable energy usage.
Las Vegas Sands
Industry: Restaurants & Leisure
Overall Rank: 291
Las Vegas Sands has committed to a verified 2-Degree Science-Based Target, aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 17.5% by 2025. The company is implementing energy efficiency within its operations to undergo a low-carbon transition, as well as focusing on water stewardship by reducing water consumption.
Overall Rank: 331
Tied for first in its industry for Climate Commitments, Williams-Sonoma has a verified 1.5-Degree Science-Based Target and a near-term target of carbon neutrality by 2025. The company is first among Retail companies for having the highest percentage of renewable energy usage, as well as first in Sustainable Materials, thanks to its efforts to increase the circularity of its products.
Industry: Basic Resources
Overall Rank: 408
Ranking first in its industry on Pollution Reduction, International Paper discloses the highest percentages of renewable energy use compared to peers. International Paper is also one of just two companies in its industry to have a verified 2-degree Science-Based Target, with a commitment to reduce 35% of absolute emissions across all three scopes by 2030.
Overall Rank: 589
News Corporation is one of two companies within the Media Industry to have a verified 1.5-Degree Science-Based Target. Tied for first for Climate Commitments, News Corporation discloses an entire Net-Zero Transition Plan and has committed to reducing fuel and carbon emissions by 60% by 2030.
Industry: Energy Equipment & Services
Overall Rank: 729
Enviva has made a 2030 Net-Zero commitment, along with five other companies in its industry. With efforts to sustainably source wood and invest in the conservation and restoration of forests, Enviva is first in its industry for Pollution Reduction and second for Climate Commitments.
To unpack your company’s environmental performance in the 2023 Rankings and gain insights into how to improve on the issues that matter most to the American public, please reach out to email@example.com.