The Newsweek Green Rankings list assesses the 500 largest publicly traded US firms, then sizes them up based on various factors, including energy productivity, greenhouse gas emissions, water, and waste; reputation; sustainability pay link and board committee; and third-party verification of environmental metrics.
Ball, a company specializing in metal food and beverage cans, ranked third in the list. Bjoern Kulmann, director of sustainability for Ball, told FoodProductionDaily sustainability is a high priority in all areas of the firm.
"By balancing the economic, environmental and social impacts in all of our decision making and activities globally, setting aggressive goals and reporting regularly on our progress, we're holding ourselves accountable and ensuring Ball is successful and sustainable for the long term," he said. "We look at sustainability from a value chain perspective and work with our customers and other partners to jointly reduce the impacts of our operations and our products along their life cycle."
From 2012 to 2013, Ball hit a number of its sustainability goals. It launched a lighter aluminum aerosol can in major markets, reduced overall aluminum use by 6,800 metric tons (cutting CO2 by 75,200 metric tons).The firm also has reduced waste-to-landfill 10 percentage points, increased recycling by 10 percentage points, and increased the list of zero-waste Ball facilities by 10.
Ecolab, a materials firm with a specialty in food safety and sanitation technology, came closely behind Ball, at No. 4. The firm’s sustainability goals include reducing waste by 25%, cutting water use by 20%, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 10% by 2017.
McCormick, which produces spices, ranked 6. Rockwell, a manufacturer of automation equipment for food production, packaging, and other industries, came in at 8.
Other big food and beverage-involved companies include beverage brand Coca-Cola (22), Praxair (30), General Mills (37), Molson Coors (41), Hershey (46), and safety technology provider Thermo Fisher Scientific (93).