Novo Nordisk has topped Corporate Knights magazine’s annual Global 100 rankings of leaders in sustainability.
The Danish pharmaceuticals company was followed by Brazil’s Natura Cosmeticos, Norway’s Statoil (last year’s top-ranked company), Danish biotech firm Novozymes and ASML Holding, a Dutch supplier to the semiconductor industry. The highest ranked U.S. companies were biotech company Life Technologies Corp. at 15th, Intel at 18th, and measurement tools manufacturer Agilent Technologies at 59th.
The showing for U.S. companies was poorer than last year, when Johnson & Johnson came in second, Intel came in sixth and GE came in 11th. This year the U.S. had just eight in the top 100, compared to 13 last year, with GE and Johnson & Johnson dropping off the list.
But the U.S. still managed to rank joint third this year with France, behind the U.K. and Japan, for number of companies in the top 100. The remaining U.S. companies in this year’s report were Johnson Controls (64), Procter & Gamble (66), IBM (69), Baxter International (86), and Prologis (90).
Corporate Knights selects a list of 400 global sustainability leaders from 4,000 developed and emerging market stocks based on integrated sustainability ratings from the Global Sustainability Research Alliance, and on company performance on a financial stress test carried out by Legg Mason. The Global 400 are then percentile ranked on 11 key performance indicators, and the proportion of industries is adjusted to match levels in the MSCI All Country World Index.
Corporate Knights says that Novo Nordisk stands out for its use of integrated reporting, its requirement that sites perform energy screenings every three years, and its 20-year power purchase agreement with DONG Energy, which financed the building of an offshore wind project.