Opower, Philips and Enel Named to Fortune’s Change the World List

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opowerThree energy companies, Opower, Philips and Enel, made Fortune’s first “Change the World” list — 50 companies deemed leaders in innovation and social good by the business publication.

The list also included such giants as Google, Facebook, Starbucks, Whole Foods, Twitter, and Kickstarter.

Fortune cited Opower’s influence bringing about behavioral change that encourages electricity consumers to use less.

“Smiley faces are stamped on specially delivered energy reports, and data from neighbors are pooled together for comparison, adding an element of pride (or shame) to your power usage. Evidently it works: A family of four saves about 2.5 percent more energy on average once its utility teams with Opower,” Fortune said.

Opower CEO Dan Yates said that being included on Fortune’s list affirms Opower’s committment to the double bottom line.

“Leading utilities want their customers to have more control over their energy use, and we’ve been fortunate to work with clients who have helped us implement effective programs that are producing large-scale energy efficiency savings while simultaneously enhancing their customers’ overall service experience,” Yates said.

Ninety-five utilities worldwide now use Opower’s cloud-based software to help them manage their relationships with their customers. Opower says its programs have saved over 8 tWh, equating to over $1 billion in customer savings and enough energy to power all of the homes in New Mexico for a year.

Philips made the list for building solar-powered LED complexes in Africa, which Fortune said transformed 87 underused health clinics and gave kids the ability to read and play after dark. Italian utility Enel was included for its strong drive to incorporate renewable energy. The energy giant got 38 percent of its output from renewables last year, a figure it hopes to incresae to 48 percent in four years. Enel is striving to be carbon neutral by 2050.

“Prodded by socially conscious customers and idealistic employees, as well as a skeptical public, businesses are searching for new ways to prove capitalism’s power to rectify social ills,” said Fortune Editor Alan Murray. “Fortune’s new Change the World list is our contribution to this trend. It is meant to shine a spotlight on companies that have made significant progress in addressing major social problems as part of their core business strategy. It is based on our belief that capitalism should be not just tolerated but celebrated for its power to do good.”

The Change the World List was assembled from more than 200 recommendations by dozens of business, academic, and nonprofit experts around the world and vetted by Fortune on four criteria: the degree of business innovation involved, the measurable impact at scale on an important social challenge, the contribution of the shared value activities to the company’s profitability and competitive advantage, and the significance of the shared value effort to the overall business.

The full list is here.

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