Thesis Submission Date

Spring 2011

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Environment, Economics, and Politics (EEP)

Reader 1

J. Emil Morhardt

Reader 2

Constance Rossum

Rights Information

© 2011 Jaclyn D'Arcy

Abstract

Climate change affects the health of people and the environment. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published research that explains the danger of greenhouse gas emissions on humans, wildlife, and the planet. Initiatives and policies are enacted every day to counter the harm that is done to the environment. Many companies now publish environmental impact reports or Corporate Sustainability Reports (CSR) to promote industry transparency. Participating in environmental and social initiatives is also a competitive advantage for these Fortune 500 companies. Customers can support a company based on their environmental friendliness or social responsibility. Companies are then encouraged to promote social issues like workplace diversity, women in management, and community development; and environmental issues like habitat conservation, green building, and energy reduction. The general merchandising sector companies scored from highest to lowest in the following order: Walmart, Nordstrom, Sears Holdings, Macy’s, PPR, Target, Kohl’s, JC Penney, Dollar General, Belk, Neiman Marcus, Shopko Stores, Follett, Family Dollar, Dillards, Newegg.com, Michael’s Stores, and Fry’s Electronics. These companies represent the most successful companies based on their strategies to reduce their environmental impact. Extended Producer Responsibility, green building, and community initiatives are three categories that are imperative to discuss when addressing environmental and social reporting.

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