Newsweek published it’s inaugural list of the 5oo greenest “big” companies. Molson Coors appears at number 86, and no other brewery makes the list.
But the list is baffling. I make my living by being able to separate green from greenwash. The only way to do that is by comparing solid data. One must ask how well a company is doing in absolute terms and how well are they doing compared to their peers. The data used by Newsweek to rank the top 500 big green companies seems to come from reputable sources: KLD, a well known socially responsible investment firm; Corporate Register, an aggregator of corporate responsibility reports; and Truost, of whom I was unaware until now but they look legitimate.
Yet Newsweek’s ranking methodology is opaque. Molson Coors is listed at 86 even though their Environmental Impact Score is a measly 12.8 out of 100, which places them at 12th in the Industry Ranking, i.e. 11 other large brewing companies have better environmental impact scores. Their “Reputation Survey” score is also pathetic: 18.34 (again out of 100), which puts them in 25th place against their peers.
The only score that seems decent is their “Green Policies” which comes in at 72.51, a respectable second place among the Industrial Rankings of their peers. So, in other words, their intentions are good? Policy is a vital tool in prompting real environmental progress, but I’m baffled by a scoring system that places Molson Coors ahead of all its peers when the data seems to show that they lag far behind in terms of their actual environmental impact.