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Evolving ESG Expectations Shape World's Most Sustainable Corporations Ranking for 2022

Evolving ESG Expectations Shape World's Most Sustainable Corporations Ranking for 2022

Canada NewsWire

TORONTO, Jan. 19, 2022 /CNW/ - Corporate Knights' 18th annual ranking of the world's 100 most sustainable corporations shows a continued correlation between higher investor returns and strong performance on key environmental, social and governance (ESG) metrics. It also sheds light on the evolution of ESG priorities and outcomes, and on the extent of the gap between leading sustainability performers and their global corporate peers.

The ranking is based on a rigorous assessment of 6,914 companies with more than US$1 billion in revenues, out of which Vestas Wind Systems of Denmark emerged as the world's most sustainable corporation.

Vestas has elevated its sustainability performance significantly since the introduction of its sustainability strategy back in 2020. Amongst a broad range successfully implemented sustainability initiatives, Vestas has introduced a circularity roadmap and governance structure, and had its carbon emissions reduction targets validated as in line with the 1.5 degree scenario of the Paris Agreement by the Science Based Targets initiative. At present, Vestas is responsible for nearly one third of globally installed wind power capacity.

"As the global leader in sustainable energy solutions we are honoured to be recognized as the most sustainable company in the world in 2022," says CEO Henrik Andersen. "We have mobilised our entire organisation around several key sustainability activities, and this award is a testament to both our existing achievements, and our ongoing progress in ensuring sustainability in everything we do. 

"Through our solutions, Vestas supports the global energy system with avoiding millions of tons of carbon emissions every year. To build a truly sustainable future however, we must do more. Accelerating the energy transition by scaling up renewable energy is critical to address the climate crisis, and at Vestas, we are dedicated to driving this transformation in partnership with all our stakeholders."

According to analysis by S&P Capital IQ, the Corporate Knights Global 100 Index is the best performing global sustainability equity index since its inception in 2005[1]and is also ahead of its blue-chip benchmark.  A dollar invested in an index composed of Global 100 companies on February 1, 2005, would have generated a return nearly one-fifth larger than the same investment in the MSCI All Country World Index, or ACWI (total return of 331% compared to 279%), with the performance gap widening in favour of the Global 100 markedly after the onset of COVID as large green recovery programs were adopted.2

_____________________________________

1 Analysis included all global ESG and sustainability equity indices (TR NET-USD) with at least a 10-year history. 

2 Calculated by Solactive and available via Bloomberg and Refinitiv, the Global 100 Index is rebalanced annually. It is equally weighted and mirrors the sector composition of the MSCI ACWI on a percentage basis. MSCI ACWI performance calculated by S&P Capital IQ. Both indexes are total return net USD.

The 2022 Global 100 companies derive 47% of their earnings from products or services categorized as "clean" under the Corporate Knights Clean Taxonomy, and they direct 48% of their capital expenditures, R&D and acquisitions to clean investments.

Compared to the average ACWI firm, Global 100 members generate more than four times as much revenue per tonne of carbon emitted and almost eight times more output per unit of energy consumed.

"Strong performance on these metrics is foundational to achieving a clean and carbon-neutral economy in the necessary time frame," says Corporate Knights CEO Toby Heaps, "and the sustained momentum is encouraging."

While Global 100 companies made progress boosting their share of clean revenues and investments, non-male representation among directors stalled this year at 32%. And there was middling performance on percent of taxes paid, with cash taxes paid being 13% of profit ratio over the past five years, in contrast to average global statutory rates that are double that. This suggests that room remains for leading performers to emerge on some of these more recent ESG focal points.

Other noteworthy findings and outcomes of this year's analysis:

  • Circularity is a heightened focal point for many Global 100 companies, such as newly ranked Schnitzer Steel Industries of the United States, which specializes in steel and auto recycling.
  • 65 of the Global 100 companies have signed up to the Science Based Targets initiative, aligning their emissions reductions with the requirements of the Paris Agreement, up from 60 in 2021.
  • Some companies dropped off the Global 100 in light of performance that no longer aligns with stricter criteria for what qualifies as "clean." For example, cars must be fully electric now to qualify, whereas in prior years, hybrids were counted as clean. This had a negative impact on Valeo SA of France, whose products largely go into hybrid rather than battery electric vehicles.
  • Some high-profile brands were excluded because of specific red-flagged activities. This includes climate-policy blocking on the part of Ford Motor Company, Daimler AG, Chevron and Air France, based on research from the non-profit Influence Map.
  • Sectoral representation is dominated by various tech segments, including telecoms, chipmakers, computer makers and business service providers, while 10 banks make up the largest single sector.
  • The U.S. has the largest number of Global 100 companies at 23, with Canada punching above its weight with 13. Another three come from South America, 41 from Europe/U.K., and 20 from the Asia-Pacific Region.

Normally announced at an event concurrent with the World Economic Forum in Davos, this year's Global 100 launch includes a leaders' roundtable discussion held virtually, focusing on the imperative for businesses and governments to close the "say–do" gap on climate. This event takes place today from 4 to 5pm Central European Time with opening remarks from Johan Rockström, a Swedish professor and joint director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, and the involvement of:

  • Henrik Andersen, CEO, Vestas Wind Systems A/S
  • Jean-Pascal Tricoire, CEO, Schneider Electric SE
  • Mads Nipper, CEO, Ørsted A/S
  • Esther An, Chief Sustainability Officer, City Developments Limited
  • Hakan Bulgurlu, CEO, Arçelik AS
  • Lawrence Kurzius, CEO, McCormick & Company Inc.
  • Roberto Guidetti, CEO, Vitasoy International Holdings Ltd.
  • George R. Oliver, CEO, Johnson Controls
  • Minna Aila, SVP, Sustainability and Corporate Affairs, Neste.
  • Christophe Beck, CEO, Ecolab

Free registration is available at https://tinyurl.com/G1002022.

A digital version of the ranking, select national scorecards, and further contextual and methodological information is available at corporateknights.com/global100.

What is the Global 100? 

Since 2005, the Global 100 has been one of the world's most valued and transparent rules-based sustainability ratings that emphasizes the impact of a company's core products and services. It is the best-performing global sustainability index (ticker: CKG100), with more than 10 years of history. All publicly-traded companies with USD$1B+ revenue are assessed across 23 key performance indicators, including % clean revenue, % clean investment, % taxes paid, carbon productivity, and racial and gender diversity. Companies engaging in "red flag" activities such as thermal coal, blocking climate policy and deforestation are disqualified. Our methodology illuminates the say-do gap. Only those companies making sustainable solutions a core part of their business offerings and allocating meaningful investments to reduce their carbon footprints make the grade.

About Corporate Knights: Corporate Knights Inc. includes the sustainable-business magazine Corporate Knights and a research division that produces rankings and financial product ratings based on corporate sustainability performance.

Appendix I: Net returns of the MSCI ACWI and the Corporate Knights Global 100 Index in USD as calculated respectively by Solactive and S&P Capital IQ (from February 1, 2005, to December 31, 2021).

Appendix II: 2022 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World

Rank &

Grade

Company

Country

Sector

1

A+

Vestas Wind Systems A/S

Denmark

Machinery manufacturing

2

A

Chr Hansen Holding A/S

Denmark

Food and beverage manufacturing

3

A

Autodesk Inc

US

IT services, except telecom and hosting

4

A

Schneider Electric SE

France

Industrial conglomerates

5

A

City Developments Ltd

Singapore

Real estate and leasing

6

A

American Water Works Company Inc

US

Water and sewage treatment

7

A-

Ørsted A/S

Denmark

Power generation

8

A-

Atlantica Sustainable Infrastructure PLC

UK

Power generation

9

A-

Dassault Systèmes SE

France

IT services, except telecom and hosting

10

A-

Brambles Ltd

Australia

Furniture and general manufacturing

11

A-

Sims Ltd

Australia

Smelters and steelmaking

12

B+

Johnson Controls International PLC

Ireland

HVAC equipment manufacturing

12*

B+

Kering SA

France

Retail, except grocery and auto

13

B+

Koninklijke KPN NV

Netherlands

Telecom providers

14

B+

McCormick & Company Inc

US

Food and beverage manufacturing

15

B+

Schnitzer Steel Industries Inc

US

Smelters and steelmaking

16

B+

Transcontinental Inc

Canada

Plastic and rubber product manufacturing

17

B+

Stantec Inc

Canada

Personal and business services

18

B+

Cascades Inc

Canada

Packaging

19

B+

Evoqua Water Technologies Corp

US

Machinery manufacturing

20

B+

Beijing Enterprises Water Group Ltd

Hong Kong

Water and sewage treatment

21

B+

Banco do Brasil SA

Brazil

Banks

22

B+

Sekisui Chemical Co Ltd

Japan

Residential construction

23

B+

Engie Brasil Energia SA

Brazil

Power generation

24

B+

Neste Oyj

Finland

Refining, petrochemicals & basic organic chemicals

25

B+

Iberdrola SA

Spain

Power generation

26

B

Xerox Holdings Corp

US

Computers and peripherals manufacturing

27

B

Salesforce.Com Inc

US

Personal and business services

28

B

Cisco Systems Inc

United States

Telephones & telecom equipment mnfg.

29

B

Alstom SA

France

Non-road transport equipment mnfg.

31†

B

Legrand SA

France

Industrial conglomerates

32

B

Eisai Co Ltd

Japan

Pharmaceutical manufacturing

33

B

Ecolab Inc

US

Personal products (retail chemical)

34

B

Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd

Canada

Freight transport, all modes

35

B

Novozymes A/S

Denmark

Pharmaceutical manufacturing

36

B-

Alphabet Inc

US

IT services, except telecom and hosting

37

B-

Verbund AG

Austria

Power transmission and distribution

38

B-

Workday Inc

US

Personal and business services

39

B-

SunPower Corp

US

Semiconductor & elec. components mnfg.

40

B-

Metso Outotec Oyj

Finland

Commercial building construction

41

B-

IGM Financial Inc

Canada

Asset management

42

B-

Xinyi Solar Holdings Ltd

China

Glass and ceramics

43

B-

Sprouts Farmers Market Inc

US

Grocery stores

44

B-

TSMC

Taiwan

Semiconductor & elec. components mnfg.

45

B-

Vitasoy International Holdings Ltd

Hong Kong

Food and beverage manufacturing

46

B-

Samsung SDI Co Ltd

South Korea

Semiconductor & elec. components mnfg.

47

B-

LONGi Green Energy Tech. Co Ltd

China

Semiconductor & elec. components mnfg.

48

B-

Apple Inc

US

Telephones & telecom equipment mnfg.

49

B-

Telus Corp

Canada

Telecom providers

50

B-

HP Inc

US

Computers and peripherals manufacturing

51

B-

Atea ASA

Norway

Telephones & telecom equipment mnfg.

52

B-

Tesla Inc

US

Cars and trucks manufacturing, incl. parts

53

B-

Konica Minolta Inc

Japan

Machinery manufacturing

54

C+

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co

US

Computers and peripherals manufacturing

55

C+

SAP SE

Germany

IT services, except telecom and hosting

55*

C

Storebrand ASA

Norway

Insurance companies

56

C+

Koninklijke Philips NV

Netherlands

Instrumentation & other electronic mnfg.

57

C+

Arçelik AS

Turkey

Appliances & lighting fixtures mnfg.

58

C+

Citrix Systems Inc

US

IT services except telecom and hosting

59

C+

UniCredit SpA

Italy

Banks

60

C+

Commerzbank AG

Germany

Banks

61

C+

ING Groep NV

Netherlands

Banks

62

C+

Quadient SA

France

Machinery manufacturing

63

C+

Henkel AG & Co KGaA

Germany

Personal products (retail chemical)

64

C+

Intel Corp

US

Semiconductor & elec. components mnfg.

65

C+

Sun Life Financial Inc

Canada

Insurance companies

66

C+

Prologis Inc

US

Real estate and leasing

67

C+

Sanofi SA

France

Pharmaceutical manufacturing

68

C+

Analog Devices Inc

US

Semiconductor & elec. components mnfg.

69

C+

Kesko Oyj

Finland

Grocery stores

70

C+

Nordea Bank Abp

Finland

Banks

71

C+

National Australia Bank Ltd

Australia

Banks

72

C+

StarHub Ltd

Singapore

Telecom providers

73

C+

Industria de Diseño Textil SA

Spain

Retail, except grocery and auto

74

C

Teck Resources Ltd

Canada

Metal and coal mining

75

C

CapitaLand Investment Ltd

Singapore

Commercial building construction

76

C

BNP Paribas SA

France

Banks

77

C

Puma SE

Germany

Textiles and clothing manufacturing

78

C

Unilever PLC

UK

Personal products (retail chemical)

79

C

Gildan Activewear Inc

Canada

Textiles and clothing manufacturing

80

C

Bank of Montreal

Canada

Banks

81

C

Cogeco Communications Inc

Canada

Telecom providers

82

C

Adidas AG

Germany

Textiles and clothing manufacturing

83

C

Coloplast A/S

Denmark

Medical equipment manufacturing

84

C-

BT Group PLC

UK

Personal and business services

86†

C-

Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd

Canada

Metal and coal mining

87

C-

Lenovo Group Ltd

Hong Kong

Computers and peripherals manufacturing

88

C-

Natura & Co Holding SA

Brazil

Personal products (retail chemical)

89

C-

Campbell Soup Co

US

Food and beverage manufacturing

90

C-

Intesa Sanpaolo SpA

Italy

Banks

91

C-

AstraZeneca PLC

UK

Pharmaceutical manufacturing

92

C-

KBC Groep NV

Belgium

Banks

93

C-

Allianz SE

Germany

Insurance companies

94

D+

Aster DM Healthcare Ltd

UAE

Health care

95

D+

Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson

Sweden

Telephones & telecom equipment mnfg.

96

D+

Pearson PLC

UK

IT services, except telecom and hosting

97

D+

Biogen Inc

US

Pharmaceutical manufacturing

98

D

Canadian Tire Corporation Ltd

Canada

Retail, except grocery and auto

99

D

LG Electronics Inc

South Korea

Appliances & lighting fixtures mnfg.

100

D-

BYD Co Ltd

China

Cars and trucks manufacturing, incl. parts

* Tie.  †Rank 30 and 85 updated due to data correction

 

SOURCE Corporate Knights Inc.



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