A new ranking of the top 100 Eco-Influencers from Corporate Knights and Brandwatch highlights those ringing the bell to wake humanity to potentially the greatest existential threat of the coming age: climate change. The ranking looks at the most prolific Twitter accounts advocating environmental issues, and includes big names like Bill McKibben, Bill Gates, Michael Bloomberg, Richard Branson and former New Zealand Prime Minster Helen Clark. Also on the list is Ecofys’ sustainability expert Kees van der Leun.
Advocacy to protect the environment has grown in pace over recent years, with bigger and bigger names getting involved in what is fast becoming the greatest issue of our times, as US President Barack Obama recently says, "Today, there's no greater threat to our planet than climate change, climate change can no longer be denied, or ignored." A recent Ecofys analysis highlights, unfortunately, that contrary to the rhetoric, the US is committing itself only to the barest minimum needed to resolving the issue.
With the development and evolution of broadcast since the early 20th century, it has become ever easier to communicate and disseminate ideas and issues. Twitter is the latest in a long line of tools through which it is possible to reach a broad audience with the push of some buttons. To map out the top 100 Eco-Influencers on Twitter, Corporate Knights and Brandwatch – the social media analytics company – banded together to release the ranking.
The ranking of the top thought leaders was developed from an analysis of over 100,000 twitter accounts that actively post on green issues – with both mainstream and professional people included in the last. Each was awarded a “Green Score” on a scale of 1 to 100, calculated according to three different measurements: Authority, Audience and Activity.
Bill McKibben, the founder of 350.org, has been named the most prominent Eco-Influencer, followed closely by Guardian columnist George Monbiot. Environmental activist and artist Irina Tikhomirova comes in third and Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) ranks fourth on the list. The list also include some well-known names, like billionaire businessmen Bill Gates, Michael Bloomberg, Tom Steyer and Richard Branson, and former politicians including, New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark and US vice president Al Gore.
Also on the list, at number 39, is Kees van der Leun, Chief Commercial Officer of Ecofys, a sustainability consulting firm. Van der Leun has spent his professional career investigating the issue of sustainability around energy, he was Ecofys’ third employee and has spent 29 years working for the firm. His work includes the acclaimed ‘Energy Report’ and ‘Wedging the Gap’ and dozens of publications that have shaped the green and climate change landscape. Not so long ago Van der Leun was also ranked in the UK Guardian’s top-10 energy Tweeters.