The most sustainable companies worldwide

The most sustainable companies worldwide

The most sustainable companies worldwide

The environmental and economic impact of climate change has made sustainability a key issue for business leaders. Many companies are integrating environmentally friendly sustainable business practices that are economically viable and socially responsible.

However, some companies are doing a better job of preparing their businesses for a future where sustainability is essential. Here are some of the stories of the world’s most sustainable companies.

How is corporate sustainability measured?

Sustainability is a holistic approach to managing the environment, society, and economy. Its core goal is to create a fully integrated system that is regenerative, balanced, and designed to last a long time. 

In terms of corporate governance, sustainability involves creating a business that strives to achieve a triple bottom line, which consists of:

  • Economic performance (Profit)

  • Environmental performance (Planet)

  • Social performance (People)

There are several measures for determining how sustainable each company is; The Global 100 Index, is one of the most well-known sustainability ranking systems. It uses a wide variety of key performance indicators including:

  • Resource management
    Energy productivity, water productivity, waste productivity, VOC emission productivity, NOx emission productivity, and SOx emission productivity. 

  • Financial management
    Percentage tax paid, pension fund status, supplier sustainability score, highest paid employee, and innovation capacity.

  • Employee management
    Injuries and fatalities, employee turnover, gender equality, women on boards, and linking executive pay with sustainability targets.

Companies that do well on these key performance indicators have a very small ecological footprint and operate in a way that is beneficial to society.

The Most Sustainable Companies Worldwide

Here are the world’s most sustainable companies worldwide for 2019/2020:

Ørsted (Energy)

Ørsted is an innovative energy company that has spent the last 20 years transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy. They have constructed a series of massive wind farms that supply power to over 16 million people.

This transformation has reduced the company’s carbon emissions by 83% since 2006. They intend to be carbon-neutral by 2025 and have plans to provide renewable energy to 50 million people by 2030. 

Chr. Hansen Holding A/S (Food and chemical agents)

Chr. Hansen Holding A/S produces a wide range of food, pharmaceutical, and agricultural products. The company has been integrating sustainable business practices into their company for well over a decade with the simple goal of "better farming, good health, and less waste”.

They are at the forefront of adopting natural ingredients and renewable bioscience solutions to make agriculture sustainable. They are also focused on improving human and animal welfare, as well as reducing food waste. 

Neste Oyj (Petroleum Refineries) 

Neste Oyj, is a Finnish oil refining and marketing company. They produce, refine, and sell a variety of oil products, provide engineering services, and license energy production technologies.

The company is committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2035, thereby reducing their customers’ greenhouse gas emissions by 20 million tons before 2030. Neste Oyj also has dozens of sustainable initiatives, including renewable energy solutions for transport, renewable raw material sourcing, and supply chain accountability. The company’s initiatives show that even businesses working in the fossil fuel industry can take steps to become sustainable.

Cisco Systems Inc (Communications equipment)

Cisco is one of the world’s largest communications companies. They provide telecommunications infrastructure, Internet security solutions, analytics tools, and much more.

Over the past decade, Cisco has worked hard to become the most sustainable company in the United States. They have developed several initiatives which are designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, preserve natural resources, and minimise waste. These initiatives have ranged from redesigning packaging though to switching to renewable energy.

Autodesk Inc (Software)

How on the heels of Cisco is the American software company Autodesk. They produce a wide range of software products including sophisticated 3D modelling software.

They have created a variety of sustainability programmes relating to sustainable energy production, sustainable manufacturing, and sustainable design. Autodesk is also heavily involved in a variety of philanthropic organisations.

Novozymes A/S (Specialty and performance chemicals)

Novozymes A/S is an international biotechnology company based in Denmark. They research, design, and produce a variety of products including biopharmaceutical ingredients, enzymes, and microorganisms. 

Novozymes firmly believes in the principle of sustainability and having a triple bottom line that produces economic, environmental, and social value. They take a holistic approach, considering how sustainable their business is in terms of governance, environmental impact, employee health, social progress and so on.

ING Groep NV (Finance)

ING Groep NV is a Dutch-based provider of banking and financial services. They provide a variety of services including commercial banking, wholesale banking, asset management, and insurance.

ING believes they can influence the way money is used to implement sustainable practices. They check every transaction and even client against environmental and social risk policies. If a client does not meet the bank’s sustainability standards, they will not gain access to the company’s financial services. 

They also focus on making deals which somehow help society or the environment. This includes providing finance for renewable energy projects, energy efficiency improvements,  hospitals, schools, and other assets which help society.

Enel S.p.A. (Wholesale Energy)

Enel Group is a large multinational energy company based in Italy. They generate, distribute, and sell natural gas, electricity, and other forms of energy. 

Enel is committed to using their business to leverage social, environmental, and economic progress. They have fully embraced renewable energy and have set ambitious targets which will be met over the coming years. Enel have also adopted the concept of the circular economy and are working diligently to maximise resource usage throughout their business.

As you can see, many companies are committed to the concept of sustainability. They have shown that it is possible to improve the environment and increase social equity while generating profits.