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Jeremy is the managing editor at Corporate Knights Magazine. He previously served as a consultant at the Social Investment Organization. In 2013, he was named a Mining Country fellow by the Institute for Journalism and Natural Resources.

The Best 50 rolls up the rim

Tim Hortons is the top-ranked company on the 2015 Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada.

A former regional manager at a Canadian extractives firm was recently reflecting on how, a decade ago, his industry viewed Corporate Knights. “The general impression then from within the company was that Corporate Knights was a constructive and reasonable voice – albeit a little idealistic – with unreasonable expectations about what a corporation can and should do in terms of social responsibility,” he explained in an email exchange.

The jury’s still out as to whether or not our magazine’s vision is too utopian, but recent evidence suggests that both corporate and political culture is moving closer to our worldview. Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, a past enthusiast of banking deregulation, gave a speech in April extolling the virtues of inclusive capitalism in a speech titled “The fierce urgency of fixing economic inequality worldwide.”

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Canada’s greenest mayor

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson has spent the past seven years transforming his city into a sustainability powerhouse.

October 2008 was a dark time for the environmental movement in British Columbia and throughout Canada. The economic downturn had focused the electorate’s attention away from climate change onto pocketbook issues, turning Stéphane Dion’s Green Shift plan into an albatross around the neck of the federal Liberal Party and contributing to the re-election of the Conservatives.

In B.C., Premier Gordon Campbell’s province-wide carbon tax, introduced earlier that year, was polling poorly going into a Spring 2009 election against an NDP party that had vowed to “axe the tax.” Presented with these developments, the Globe and Mail’s Gary Mason opined that “it may be some time before we again see a political leader in Canada brave enough to build a campaign platform around saving the environment.”

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Heroes & zeros: Archer Daniels Midland and Walmart

No deforestation for Archer Daniels Midland, while pay controversy rattles Walmart.

Hero: Archer Daniels Midland

Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM), one of the world’s largest agricultural processors and food ingredient providers, has committed to a “no-deforestation” policy in regards to the soy and palm oil it sources. ADM will give its suppliers until the end of 2015 to ensure that neither crop is grown in peatlands or deforested areas.

Most companies in the palm oil market have made similar commitments, but ADM is the first to apply this standard to soy throughout its supply chain. The no-deforestation policy “combines a clear commitment to no deforestation with progressive action focused on our most critical supply chains,” Victoria Podesta, chief communications officer for ADM, said in a statement.

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Heroes & zeros: Kaiser Permanente and Anadarko Petroleum

Sun shines on Kaiser Permanente, while Anadarko Petroleum pays big penalty for oil spills & other environmental degredation.

Hero: Kaiser Permanente

Health care conglomerate Kaiser Permanente announced an ambitious clean energy shift in February that will ensure 50 per cent of electricity used at its California facilities comes from renewable energy. The Oakland, California-based company – the largest managed care organization in the United States – has signed three 20-year solar and wind energy deals that will reduce its carbon emissions by an estimated 30 per cent.

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Should provinces take the lead in putting a price on carbon?

A new report from Canada’s EcoFiscal Commission certainly thinks so.

Each of Canada’s provinces should move forward with carbon-pricing schemes as soon as possible, says a new report by Canada’s EcoFiscal Commission called The Way Forward. The report, released today, comes as Quebec prepares to host a provincial-territorial summit on climate change in Quebec City next weekend that is likely to bolster carbon-pricing efforts across the country.

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