The annual Global 100 list of the world's most sustainable companies is out, and the results might surprise you.
Every year, Corporate Knights
magazine takes a look at the environmental and social impacts of corporations around the globe. They rank companies on a long list of factors
, including energy productivity, waste productivity, leadership diversity, percentage of tax obligation paid, and difference between CEO and worker pay. They acknowledge that the system isn't perfect, but they say it does "set some objective and transparent ground rules on which to measure progress."
So which companies made the top of their Global 100 list
this year? Danish pharma firm Novo Nordisk
came in at number five. As writer Marc Gunther put it in his write-up on the company, "Novo Nordisk has pursued a triple bottom line of financial, social and
environmental gains since the 1990s, when the phrase was coined by
writer John Elkington, and it incorporated the concept into the
company?s legal structure nearly a decade ago."
Also in the top 10: Natura Cosmetics, Statoil and Norsk Hydro are some of the most recognizable names. Only two U.S. companies made the top 20: Biogen #8 and Intel at #14.
Lists like this have their purpose. They reward transparency and show off the good efforts the top companies are making. Companies that are tracked for year to year give us a chance to see how things are improving (or not, if that's the case). They also help us to make sustainable buying choices and maybe even point our investments toward greener companies.
Spend some time with the Global 100 list. See if the companies you do business with show up, and where. Find out if your own companies can learn anything from the lessons of these sustainable companies. And spread the word: the best way to support green companies is through good word of mouth.