NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- General Electric ( GE), Ford Motor ( F), Alcoa ( AA), Air Products & Chemicals ( ADP) and Johnson Controls ( JCI) are poised to excel in a future, carbon-conscious business environment, according to a ranking of U.S. corporations based on their green innovation initiatives released on Monday. Maplecroft, the global risk analysis firm behind the Climate Innovation Indexes, also determined that companies at the forefront of climate change innovation saw stronger financial performance based on five-year returns on equity. Since their launch in January, the CIIs continue to outperform the S&P by 3.5%, Maplecroft said. "The CIIs are a valuable tool for investors looking to pick winners, as they identify the most resilient, most innovative and best positioned companies to gain competitive advantage in the new low-carbon economy," said Maplecroft CEO, Professor Alyson Warhurst, in a statement on Monday. The indexes measure companies based on several criteria, including climate change management policies and related changes to operations and strategies; the ability to generate new technologies or initiatives that capitalize on green tech market opportunities; the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in addition to disclosure and target-setting programs. During Monday's first rebalancing of the CIIs, which were first launched on the Bloomberg Professional service, Maplecroft said GE held its top position for consumer-minded energy cost-cutting appliances like hybrid water heaters, energy-efficient aircraft engines and factoring carbon costs into deal approval processes. -- Written by Melinda Peer in New York. >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Melinda Peer. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: email@example.com.