Top 10 greenest American companies
Newsweek Green Score: 75.80 percent
IT business Oracle has placed sustainability as a top priority, due to the challenges inherent in maintaining an ethical supply chain – the company even published a white paper exploring these challenges. Oracle has a waste diversion rate of 76 percent; its huge Utah-based data center runs at energy levels which are 70 percent more efficient than the industry average; and between 2000 and 2011, electricity usage at Oracle HQ dropped 28 percent, with natural gas use decreasing by 25.4 percent.
Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc.
Newsweek Green Score: 76.30 percent
As one of the biggest beverage companies in the world, Coca-Cola has put a great deal of effort towards being greener, guided by its own sustainability report. This goes hand-in-hand with efforts to end child slavery in supply chains, assisting entrepreneurs with funding, empowering communities, and enabling scholarships. Coca-Cola’s hometown of Atlanta has a long history of sustainability, and the business is proud to continue that tradition.
Newsweek Green Score: 76.40 percent
According to MetLife’s most recent Global Impact Report, MetLife made green investments last year of $9.7 billion, which included stakes in 37 wind and solar farms, 48 LEED-certified builds, and $3 million splashed out on other renewable energy project. The insurance company was the first in its sector to commit to carbon neutrality, and is fighting to reduce its energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent before 2020.
Rockwell Automation Inc.
Newsweek Green Score: 76.40 percent
Rockwell has worked hard to comply with all relevant regulations regarding the restriction of hazardous materials, as well as striving to meet with the highest possible standards of ethics and sustainability. It aims, as outlined in its most recent Corporate Responsibility Report, to go above and beyond industry compliance. It is a member of several sustainability organizations, has been honored on the Dow Jones sustainability North American Index five times, and boasts a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s 2016 Corporate Responsibility Index.
Newsweek Green Score 78.40 percent
As the global leader in water, hygiene, and energy services, Ecolab considers that it has a great deal of corporate responsibility when it comes to sustainability. It has helped other businesses across various industries manage their own greenness, and last year helped customers conserve 142 billion gallons of water, eradicate 26.4 million pounds of waste, and reduce greenhouse gas production by 10.5 trillion BTUs of energy. Ecolab wants to take its water reduction to 300 billion gallons a year by 2030, also planning to reduce GHG by 10 percent across all manufacturing plants as a standard continuous improvement strategy. Its sustainable services and solutions are customized to the client.
Newsweek Green Score: 78.70 percent
Biotechnology company Biogen has invested in sustainable innovations for many years, ensuring that it maintains best practice in energy and carbon reduction as per its sustainability policy. Biogen achieved carbon neutrality in 2014, and thanks to its unremitting improvement initiative, it continues to improve its environmental impact across supply chain and operations. Last year, 61 percent of its waste was diverted, with the rest going to waste-to-energy. It plans to increase the diversion rate even further.
Newsweek Green Score: 78.80 percent
This tech company prioritizes compliance with all relevant rules and regulatory bodies, focusing its R&D efforts on improving its green status based on a range of environmental policies. NVIDIA has done its part against climate change since 2007, maintaining a long-running GHG reduction plan. Its goals are to achieve LEED Gold standards for future HQ buildings, a landfill diversion rate of at least 80 percent, and a blended average Power Usage Effectiveness value of 1.55 for all data centers by the end of this year.
The Hershey Company
Newsweek Green Score: 80.70 percent
As well as boasting a zero-waste-to-landfill status, Hershey has some ambitious environmental goals in place to maintain its green position in the future. This includes reducing greenhouse gases by 50 percent by 2025 (it has reduced this by 23 percent already since 2009), ensuring that its use of palm oil is deforestation-free, and the extensive utilization of electric vehicles in its fleet. Responsible sourcing is paramount for the food company, from farming, to paper, to sugar, and beyond.
Newsweek Green Score: 81.90
Nike has caused a stir in the media recently due to its impressive dedication to being green. While the footwear company has spent many years improving its environmental impact, its latest venture is to redesign its supply chain, according to the minimum requirements of its corporate code of conduct. Nike will only be using suppliers which also comply with its new manufacturing business model, and is innovating the roles of both technology and the worker. The company has also introduced a commitment to transparency, ensuring accountability across the supply chain and driving continuous improvement.
Newsweek Green Score: 88.10 percent
Standing head and shoulders above the rest, the toy company has taken full corporate responsibility of its substantial impact on the environment. It focusses its efforts on two areas in particular: minimizing the impact of its logistical footprint, and reducing the environmental impact of products, including packaging. Hasbro has strict KPIs in place to adhere to, and it has been openly reporting its own environmental influence since 2001. It is an industry leader in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and is continually slashing the numbers – as well as those of waste and water use – year-on-year.
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Six issues at the top of tax and finance leaders’ agenda
New Deloitte research reveals that tax leaders are under increasing pressure to add strategic value as companies accelerate business model transformation, from undergoing digital transformations to rethinking their supply chains or investing in green initiatives.
According to Phil Mills, Deloitte Global Tax & Legal Leader, to “truly deliver value to the business, the tax function needs to rethink its resourcing model and transform its technology infrastructure to create capacity and control costs”.
And the good news, according to Mills, is that tax and business leaders have more options at their disposal to achieve this.
Reflecting the insights of global tax and finance executives at global companies, Deloitte’s Tax Operations in Focus study reveals the six issues at the top of tax and finance leaders’ agenda.
Trend 1: Businesses seek more strategic counsel from tax
Companies are being pushed to develop new digital products and distribution channels and accelerate sustainable transformation and this is taking them into uncharted tax territory. Tax leaders say their teams must have the resources and skills to give deeper advisory support on digital business models (65%), supply chain restructuring (49%) and sustainability (48%) over the next two years. This means redrawing the boundaries of what tax professionals focus on, and accelerating adoption of advanced technologies and lower-cost resourcing models to meet compliance requirements and free up time.
According to Joanne Walker, Group Tax Director, BT Group PLC, "There’s still a heavy compliance load today, but the vision for the future would be that much of that falls away, and tax people become subject matter experts who help program the machine, ensure quality control, and redirect their time to advisory activity.”
Trend 2: Tipping point for resourcing models
Business partnering demands in the tax department are on the rise, but 93% of tax leaders say their department’s budget is remaining flat or falling. To ensure that the tax function can redefine itself as a strategic function at the pace that is required, leaders are choosing to move increasing amounts of compliance and reporting to a combination of shared service centers, finance departments, and outsourcing providers that have invested in best-in-class technology.
Trend 3: Digital tax administration is moving faster than expected
in addition to the rising focus of the corporate tax department partnering with their business counterparts, transformative changes to the way companies share tax information with revenue authorities is also creating an imperative to modernize operations at a faster pace. Nine in 10 (92%) respondents say that shifting revenue authority demands on digital tax administration will have a moderate or high impact on tax operations and resources over the next five years—and several heads of tax said the trend is moving faster than expected.
"It’s really stepped up in the last couple of years," says Anna Elphick, VP Tax, Unilever. "Tax authorities don't just want a faster turnaround for compliance but access into a company’s systems. It's not unreasonable to think that in a much shorter time than we expect, compliance will be about companies reviewing a return that's been drafted by the tax authorities."
Trend 4: Data simplification and lower-cost resourcing are top priorities
Tax leaders said that simplifying data management (53%) and moving to lower-cost resourcing models (51%) must be prioritized if tax is to become more proactive at delivering strategic insights to the business. Many tax teams are ensuring that they have a seat at the table as ERP systems are overhauled, which is paying dividends: 56% of those that have introduced NextGen ERP systems are now highly effective at supporting the business with scenario-modeling insights. Only 35% of those with moderate to low use of NextGen ERP systems said the same.
At Stryker, “we automated the source P&L process for transfer pricing which took a huge burden off of the divisions," says David Furgason, Vice President Tax. "Then we created a transfer price database to deposit and retrieve data so we have limited impact on the divisions. We are moving to a single ERP platform which will help us make take the next step with robotics.”
Trend 5: Skillsets are shifting
Embedding a new data infrastructure and redesigning processes are critical for the future tax vision. Tax leaders are aligned — data skills (45%) and technology process experience (43%) are ‘must have’ skills in a tax department of the future, but more traditional tax specialist knowledge also remains key (40%). The trick to success will be in tax leaders facilitating the way these professionals, with their different backgrounds, can work together collectively to unlock lasting value.
Take Infineon Technologies, which formed a VAT technology and governance group "that has the right knowledge about how to change the system to ensure it generates the right reports", according to Matthias Schubert, Global Head of Tax. "Involving them early was key as we took a greenfield approach, so we could think about what the optimal processes would look like and how more intelligent systems could make an impact
Trend 6: 2020 brought productivity improvements
Improved productivity (50%) and accelerating shifts to remote working (48%) were cited as the biggest operational benefits to emerge from COVID-19-driven disruption. But, as 78% of leaders now plan to embed either hybrid or fully remote models in the tax function long term, 34% say maintaining productivity benefits is a top concern. And, as leaders think about building their talent pipeline and strengthening advisory skill sets, 47% say they must prioritize new approaches to talent recognition and career development over the next two years, while 36% say new processes for involving tax in business strategy decisions must be established.