Nine US-based companies including Molson Coors, Alcoa, Sonoco Products, Herman Miller and UnitedHealth Group have been awarded gold medals for sustainability practices in RobecoSAM and KPMG’s Sustainability Yearbook 2013. This places the US higher than any other country in the rankings.
The gold medal-winning US companies also include Baxter International and Waste Management – both named leaders in their sectors – as well as MeadWestvaco and PepsiCo.
Every year RobecoSAM – known until last month as SAM – assesses the sustainability performance of more than 2,000 companies across 58 sectors. Based on an in-depth analysis, each company is scored on up to 120 financially material economic, environmental, social and governance criteria specific to its own industry, with a focus on long-term value creation.
Germany and South Korea each account for six gold medal winners this year. German gold medalists are Siemens, SAP, BMW, Henkel, Adidas and travel firm TUI. Each one of them was named the leader in its respective sector.
In South Korea, GS Engineering & Construction Co., personal products firm Amorepacific Corp., SK Telecom, communications company KT Corp and retailer Lotte Shopping set the standard as industry leaders. In addition, Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co. scored highly enough to be awarded a gold medal.
Australia, Taiwan and Canada also feature on the list of top 10 gold medal-winning countries, proving that Europe is no longer the exclusive bastion of corporate sustainability and that sector-leading sustainability performance can now be found all over the world, RobecoSAM says.
The finance sector had the highest number of participants in this year’s study, with 235 banks taking part. Some 172 companies from the real estate sector and 149 oil and gas companies participated.
Asia Pacific was the best-represented region. Some 1,209 companies for that region participated in the study along with 1,071 from North America, 678 from Europe, 159 from Latin America and 70 from Africa.
In related news, RobecoSAM and S&P Dow Jones Indices have together launched the Dow Jones Sustainability Emerging Markets Index. The index offers investors a tool for measuring the performance of companies that RobecoSAM has recognized as leaders compared to their peers in terms of corporate sustainability and also aims to provide an effective engagement platform to encourage companies from emerging markets to adopt sustainable best practices.