The Fortune 10

Positions of 10 largest companies (2015) in U.S. on climate change

(See below for 2016 UPDATE)

All 10 companies (2015) accept the reality of human-caused climate change. These positions do not necessarily mean these companies behave in ways that adequately address climate change. However, there is no outright denial on their public websites.

1. WalMart

“We are looking at innovative ways to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. This used to be controversial, but the science is in and it is overwhelming. Climate change doesn’t cause hurricanes, but hot ocean water makes them more powerful. Climate change doesn’t cause rainfall, but it can increase the frequency and severity of heavy flooding. Climate change doesn’t cause droughts, but it makes droughts longer. We believe every company has a responsibility to reduce greenhouse gases as quickly as it can.” (2005)

“At Walmart, we believe climate change is an urgent and pressing challenge, and we must all do our part to reduce, avoid and mitigate the impact of rising greenhouse gas (GHG) levels.” July 27, 2015

2. ExxonMobil

“We know that climate change is real and the risks associated with it warrant action. Our corporation is taking action in numerous ways, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions in our operations, helping consumers reduce their emissions, supporting research into technology breakthroughs, and engaging with policymakers on constructive public policy options.”

3. Chevron

“Chevron shares the concerns of governments and the public about climate change risks and recognizes that the use of fossil fuels to meet the world’s energy needs is a contributor to rising greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the earth’s atmosphere. We believe that taking prudent, practical and cost effective action to address climate change risks is the right thing to do. Mitigation of GHG emissions, adaptation to climate change and continuation of scientific and technological research should all be considered.”

4. Berkshire Hathaway

By signing the American Business Act on Climate pledge, these companies are:

Voicing support for a strong Paris outcome. The pledge recognizes those countries that have already put forward climate targets, and voices support for a strong outcome in the Paris climate negotiations.

Demonstrating an ongoing commitment to climate action. As part of this initiative, each company is announcing significant pledges to reduce their emissions, increase low-carbon investments, deploy more clean energy, and take other actions to build more sustainable businesses and tackle climate change.

5. Apple

“We don’t want to debate climate change. We want to stop it.” 

6. General Motors

“GM remains the only automaker to date to sign the “Climate Declaration,” organized by the sustainable business advocacy group Ceres and its Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP) coalition. The declaration calls for policymakers to address climate change by promoting clean energy, boosting efficiency and limiting carbon emissions. With the publication of this report, we renew our own call for other automakers and businesses to take a firm and public stance on climate change.”

7. Phillips 66

“Phillips 66 is investing in its future by conducting research to manage water consumption, develop biofuels, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide technology to change the future of power generation.”

 8. General Electric

“The scientific consensus supports the conclusion that electricity generated in conventional coal plants and petroleum used for transportation fuel produce large amounts of carbon dioxide that bring about the serious consequences of rising atmospheric and oceanic temperatures.”

 9. Ford

“Ford and the automotive industry as a whole have an important role to play in achieving climate stabilization. We take this responsibility seriously, and have based our global approach to product planning and policy participation on the science of climate stabilization, doing our part to reduce emissions significantly in order to maintain atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gas emissions at or below 450 ppm.”

 10. CVS Health

“We acknowledge that human action contributes to climate change, and we are committed to fostering a culture of environmental responsibility within our company to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and subsequent impact on the environment.”

UPDATE for 2016: In 2016 the Fortune 10 list lost three and gained three members. The new members in 2016 were Mckesson, United Health Group, and AT&T. All three affirm the reality of climate change and describe their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

McKesson (#5 on 2016 list)

“A core tenet of our company is operational excellence, and to that end, we continually seek business efficiencies that also ameliorate environmental impact, such as those described in the “Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions” section below.

At the same time, we recognize the importance of a company-wide approach to sustainability, such as the McKesson standard operating procedures for environmental health and safety that we implemented in FY16. Another key component of our strategy is setting targets for reduced emissions. During FY16, McKesson’s Real Estate group embarked on a three-year initiative to consolidate and benchmark environmental data, which will lead to target-setting for CO2 reductions starting in FY18.”

UnitedHealth Group (#6 on 2016 list)

“UnitedHealth Group’s green business practices are reducing our carbon footprint in daily office work. We are moving toward paperless communications and implementing workplace conservation initiatives.”

AT&T (#10 on 2016 list)

“. . . AT&T recognizes that climate change is happening, that greenhouse gas emissions are contributing to it, and that transitioning to a more resource efficient world will be a primary determinant of success in the 21st century global economy.”