Best Buy on Friday was awarded the top spot on a Barron's list titled "The 100 Most Sustainable U.S. Companies," moving up from its No. 3 position on last year's list.
The retailer said it has reduced its carbon emissions by 51% since 2009, which is inching closer to its goal of 60%. The company has also added employee benefits such as "enhanced mental health coverage, backup child care, caregiver leave and paid time off for part-time employees," according to a company blog post.
Barron's looked at the 1,000 largest publicly traded companies and evaluated their sustainability efforts in community engagement, human rights, carbon emissions and business ethics, among other things.
Sustainability has been on Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly's mind since he was young, when his parents took him to the Alps and he saw the glaciers were already receding, according to the Barron's report.
"Sustainability is embedded in everything we do," Joly said. "It starts with the company's philosophy to contribute to the common good and our purpose to enrich lives through technology by addressing key human needs."
The Minnesota-headquartered retailer has collected about 2 billion pounds of electronics and other appliances through its e-waste recycling program, which comes a little over a decade after the Minnesota Electronics Recycling Act was signed into law.
Best Buy in 2016 began its Geek Squad Geekmobile transition to hybrid Toyota Priuses, which, according to the company, during its first year has "saved 140,000 gallons of gas, the carbon equivalent of taking 263 cars off of the road for a year."
The company's engagement with the community through its Teen Tech Centers also helped elevate its status to No. 1 this time around. Best Buy has 22 Teen Tech Centers, a year-round program that teaches technology skills to youth in underserved areas, and hopes to expand that to 60 by the end of 2020, the company said.