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Global 100 Index

World’s 100 Most Sustainable Companies Announced

Global 100 IndexWestpac Banking is the most sustainable company in the world, according to Corporate Knights, the Toronto-based media and investment research firm that compiles the annual Global 100 index.

The Australia-based financial service provider topped the 2014 iteration of the corporate sustainability index and has a long history of leadership in corporate sustainability, being the first bank to join the Australian government’s Greenhouse Challenge Plus, Corporate Knights says.

Rounding out the top five are Biogen Idec, a US-based biotech firm, Outotec Oyj, a Finnish mining technology and capital goods company, Norwegian oil giant Statoil and Dassault Systèmes, a French company that produces 3D design software.

US firms hold 18 of the 100 spots on this year’s index. Canada followed with 13 spots, and the UK and France tied for third with eight spots each.

Emerging markets accounted for three positions on the index, consisting of firms from Brazil (two) and China (one). The financials sector took 22 spots on the index, followed by the consumer discretionary and IT sectors, each with 12 constituents.

Companies named to the Global 100 index, now in its 10th year, are the top overall sustainability performers in their respective industrial sectors. Corporate Knights determines inclusion in the Global 100 index using 12 quantitative sustainability indicators, including the amount of revenue companies generate per unit of energy consumption, the ratio of CEO to average worker salary and lost time injury rate.

Beginning Feb. 1, the Global 100 index will be calculated by Solactive, the German index provider.

Since its inception on Feb. 1, 2005, to Dec. 31, 2013, the Global 100 index has delivered a total return of 91.01 percent, compared to 87.80 percent for its benchmark, the MSCI All Country World Index.

Belgium-based materials technology and recycling company Umicore topped the 2013 Global 100 list.

In June 2013, Corporate Knights launched CR Ranker, a mobile app that lets any company assess its sustainability performance and rank itself against the world’s biggest and best performing companies.

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3 thoughts on “World’s 100 Most Sustainable Companies Announced

  1. The problem with this approach to Sustainability is that it only looks at the environmental impact during Input processes, eg. Manufacturing, Operations, Supply Chain etc. It does not look at the environmental impact of the Output Products, which can be actually far greater.
    As an example, it is theoretically possible to have ‘sustainable’ extraction of Petroleum, by buying Renewable Energy certificates etc. However, the impact of the extracted Petroleum products on the environment would be far greater than just the energy consumed during their extraction.
    That is why we have the anomaly that a number of Mining, Petroleum and Biotech companies score high in the Sustainability rankings. This is because the environmental impact of their products is not being considered at all. Thus, as Pam points out above, even Monsanto whose products cannot be called “sustainable” by any stretch of the imagination, figures in the list.

  2. This is good news, but the majority of companies still have a ways to go when it comes to really managing their companies for the long-term including staying on top of their key sustainability value drivers. This is driven largely by the short-term demands of investors.

    The next wave of progress could come from long-term oriented investors taking strategic stakes in long-term oriented companies to put in place the incentives that create the most long-term value for everyone.

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