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5. HBOS
HBOS
HBOS First Minister Alex Salmond, shown here with customer adviser Julie Williams, launches Bank of Scotland mobile bank service, which helps serve isolated areas in Scotland where there are no banking facilities.
Accountability rank: 5
Accountability score: 66.2
Global 500 2008 rank: 45

HBOS expects to soon become part of another bank (in September, Lloyds TSB announced plans to purchase the struggling business for $22 billion), but its legacy of corporate responsibility stands apart from its peers.

The company, which jumps from No. 8 last year, was the first major British bank to put carbon labels on financial service products (its Web Saver accounts), and it is working with the Carbon Trust, a government-created business that helps businesses reduce their carbon emissions, to create a mechanism for calculating the greenhouse gas released by computing those accounts.

HBOS has also lent millions to support initiatives such as wind farms, hydroelectric projects, and biomass producers, and finances enough renewable energy to power two million homes. And the bank recently launched a pilot program for "green loans," in which it offsets three tons of carbon dioxide for each loan that's processed.

NEXT: Nokia

Last updated November 14 2008: 9:01 AM ET
Full list See the top 100 on our annual ranking of business responsibility. More
Methodology The Accountability Rating looks at the 100 largest companies in the Global 500 and ranks them by their effectiveness as managers of corporate social responsibility issues. More
Global 500 Fortune's annual ranking of the world's largest corporations. More