Back-to-Cool: Shopping with Climate Change in Mind

Do you support corporate responsibility for climate? If you’re still working on your back-to-school shopping list, you can plan that shopping with climate change in mind.

Before you spend another dime, there are a few things you should know. The back-to-school shopping season is second only to the holiday shopping season in generating revenue. In 2008 the top 100 brands spent over $100 billion dollars on advertising in the United States. All that requires energy, packaging, and transportation — all contributing factors in climate change.

Big business is a chief source of global warming pollution, but back-to-school doesn’t have to mean business as usual. Consumers who are well-informed have the power to change the way companies do business!

The nonprofit organization Climate Counts is a collaborative effort to bring consumers and companies together in the fight against global climate change. In order to promote awareness among consumers, Climate Counts scores companies on their climate impact.

For the Back-2-Cool Campaign, Climate Counts is taking a look at back-to-school ads from the apparel, electronics, food products, and Internet/software industries to keep consumers informed about the actions of the companies behind the ads.

Join the Back-2-Cool Campaign and become a climate-conscious consumer. Learn what companies are doing — or not doing — about climate change.

Next: How Companies are Scored and Getting Results

Photo courtesy of

How Companies are Scored
Climate Counts scores companies on a 0-100 point scale, with 22 criteria to determine if companies have:

  • MEASURED their climate footprint
  • REDUCED their impact on global warming
  • SUPPORTED (or suggest intent to back) progressive climate action
  • DISCLOSED their climate actions publicly and clearly

So far, Climate Counts has scored 140 companies in 16 sectors. Those 140 companies represent over 3,000 of the world’s most well-known brands.

Getting Results
Between 2008 and 2009, 90 percent of companies scored by Climate Counts improved their scores by at least 22 percent. Those companies have taken steps to measure their climate footprint and reduce their climate impact.

Consumer choices matter. You can have an impact with your voice — call them, email them, tell them why you are taking your business to the competition… and you can have an impact with your wallet. When it comes to the bottom line, companies will take action to protect their brand and their reputation.

If climate change is important to you, check company scores and support those that take responsibility… urge them on a path toward sustainability.

If you’re heading out to finish up that back-to-school shopping, find out who is behind the products you are purchasing and let them know that “Climate Counts.”

For more information about the Back-2-Cool Campaign and to check company scores, visit: * and on Facebook * and on Twitter.

More on Back-to-School Shopping: Backpack Safety Tips

Photo credit: Back-2-Cool Campaign

Writer Ann Pietrangelo embraces the concept of personal responsibility for health and wellness. As a person living with multiple sclerosis, she combines a healthy lifestyle and education with modern medicine, and seeks to provide information and support to others. She is a regular contributor to Care2 Causes. Follow on Twitter @AnnPietrangelo


K s Goh
KS Goh6 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Bon L.
Bon L7 years ago

Thanks for the info.

Alison A.
Alison A7 years ago

Thanks for posting.

Linda J.
Linda J7 years ago


Adam P.
Adam P7 years ago

noted :-)

Danny Gilbert
Danny Gilbert7 years ago


Carole H.
Carole Hagen7 years ago


Tori W.
Past Member 7 years ago

I checked out and the corporate footprints scores. How interesting! Since I live in the country, I have practically stopped going in to town to shop. I order most everything online and do not expedite shipping. The shippers I use are the ones who are most concerned about our climate and only deliver in the area when they have many deliveries! Good information. Thanks!

Sanja T.
Sanja T7 years ago


wizzy wizard
wiz wi7 years ago