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Where to Spend Your Green Money

The survey results have gotten a lot of press. Everyone from The New York Times, to Fortune to enviroblogs like No Impact Man to the Environmental Leader have had something to say about it.

A few weeks earlier, the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst released its Toxic 100, a list of large companies that are releasing the most pollutants, like lead, mercury, cyanide and sulfuric acid, into the air around their manufacturing plants in the U.S. PERI would also like consumers and shareholders to use its list to pressure corporations into behaving better, but it received much less press, mostly short acknowledgements on activist blogs like Environmental Leader and Enviroblog.

The difference in coverage could be that PERI is a wonky research and policy institute led by academics, whereas Climate Counts is a not-for-profit that has super-media-friendly Hirshberg behind it. It could also be that climate change is the hot issue du jour and everyone wants to cover it, while environmental problems like poisonous air are just so last decade.

The four companies mentioned received pretty good grades from Climate Counts: Their scores ranged from 50 (Anheuser Busch) to 71 (General Electric, but only its media business because of the list's consumer focus) out of 100. Each garnered a green "striding" tag as opposed to a yellow "starting" or a red "stuck." And all improved their score from last year's inaugural list: P&G gained 16 points, Sony 17 and Anheuser Busch a whopping 21. (Only Google (GOOG) saw more improvement, gaining 38 points for a score of 55.)

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