Average citizens might not have much influence on the latest round of international climate talks getting under way in Mexico City today. But they...

Average citizens might not have much influence on the latest round of international climate talks getting under way in Mexico City today. But they can exert some pressure on climate action in another way: by choosing to support — or avoid — businesses based on the environmental efforts they’re making.

Climate-focused buying decisions could send a particularly strong message to large consumer corporations during the coming holiday season, when those companies look forward to shoppers giving a big boost to end-of-year revenues. That’s why ClimateCounts.org is urging people to make purchases from businesses that are “striding” toward climate-responsive practices, and to avoid products from laggard firms.

The “Striding Shopper” campaign — joined by non-profit partners , TckTckTck.org, ICCR.org, Kids vs Global Warming, and Brighter Planet — is aimed at rewarding eco-minded companies while sending a message to others that are “stuck” in inaction. The focus on large consumer firms promises the biggest bang for shoppers’ bucks, according to ClimateCounts.org: “If 150 large companies reduced their current greenhouse gas emissions by just 5% it would be like taking 42 million cars off the road for a year.”

So which companies are climate-friendly, and which are in need of a nudge or two? ClimateCounts.org assesses some of the following brands:

  • Toy-makers Hasbro, Lego and Mattel aren’t quite striding yet in terms of climate action, but they’ve at least started. That puts them ahead of other children’s products firms like MEGA Brands, Playmates, Chicco, Evenflo, Britax, Peg Perego, Chelsea & Scott, JAKKS Pacific, Dorel Industries and Newell Rubbermaid, all of which remain in the “stuck” category. Being stuck means these companies provide little or no public information on their carbon footprints and aren’t doing much — or anything at all — to reduce their own climate impacts and encourage climate-friendly policies.
  • Electronics manufacturers fare far better in their climate performance, with the leading brands all falling in the striding category. They include Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Canon, Toshiba, Motorola, Nokia, Siemens, Sony, Hitachi, Dell, Samsung and Apple.
  • In the furnishings category, just two firms have achieved striding status: Steelcase and Herman Miller. Another five — Masco, La-Z-Boy, Sealy, HNI Corp. and Leggett & Platt — are starting. The remaining top brands are all stuck: Spring Air, Furniture Brands International, Serta, Select Comfort, Tempur-Pedic, Simmons and Fortune Brands.

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