GreenBusiness WORKS and its partners have released the first of its kind Southeastern Corporate Sustainability Rankings, which ranks 280 publicly held companies on their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors and policies. Each of these 280 companies is located in the Southeast.

The rankings were compiled by KLD Research & Analytics, Inc, the company behind Newsweek’s Green 500 ratings. The 280 companies were broken down into five groups with those in the top quintile receiving the best scores and those in the fifth quintile the worst.

In order to create the index, KLD utilized several sources of information including 14,000 global media sources, information obtained directly from the companies in the list, data gathered from third parties, and information from government agencies and NGOs.

Some of the most recognized companies have earned a spot in the top quintile including Aflac, Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE), UPS, and Darden Restaurants (owner of the Olive Garden, Red Lobster and LongHorn Steakhouse chains).

Stephanie Armistead, GreenBusiness WORKS general manager, says the organization plans to release updated rankings on an annual basis. This will allow business owners and consumers in the Southeast to see how regional companies are performing in the environmental arena.

“It is no surprise to see United Parcel Service (UPS), Coca-Cola Enterprises, and Interface in the top Quintile,” said Armistead. “These companies have taken a leadership role in sustainability for years. How companies manage their ESG performance is a strong indicator of overall good management and will affect the achievement of superior financial performance over the long run, as well. Sustainability is truly a win-win. The companies in the top quintiles in the rankings are proof of this. Every day, they prove their courage and business intelligence through actions that make their business and our environment better.” Source: GreenBusiness WORKS

Other companies that made the top quintile include AutoZone, Office Depot, SunTrust Banks and Tupperware Brands Corp. As is the case with any set of rankings, where there is a best there is also a worst. Several well-known companies found themselves in the bottom quintile of the rankings including Bank of America, Burger King Holdings Inc, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and Sealy Corp.

For more information about the rankings including the full list of companies that were evaluated and information about the methodology used to create the list, visit the Southeastern Corporate Sustainability Rankings website.

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