For the most part, the dirtiest American companies are in predictable industries: utilities, materials, food and beverage. These sectors have a heavy environemtnal impact, for sure, but the companies that rank on this list are behind the curve even by those lower expectations, doing less than their direct competitiors to exemplify eco-consciousness. These companies are also investing in environmentally damaging practices such as coal mining and gas drilling, which our rankings take into account.
These are the companies that scored lowest in Newsweek’s overall 2012 Green Rankings of U.S. firms. The list compares the environmental footprint, management (policies, initiatives, controversies), and transparency of the largest 500 companies in the U.S. We partnered with two leading environmental research organizations, Trucost and Sustainalytics, to conduct this study. The methodology was developed in consultation with an advisory panel of corporate sustainability experts.