Five of world’s 100 most sustainable companies are British manufacturers

Posted on 29 Jan 2013

Five UK manufacturers, and nine UK companies in total, feature in the Global 100, a list of the 100 global companies that score highest for ‘clean capitalism’.

Croda International, the Yorkshire-based FTSE-100 listed chemicals group, is the highest UK company on the Global 100, in 25th place.

AstraZeneca (pharma), BG Group (gas), Electrocomponents (electronic hardware) and Unilever (food and consumer goods) are the other UK-based manufacturers who make it to the top 100 list for corporate sustainability, compiled by Corporate Knights.

Launched in 2005, the Global 100 claims to be the most extensive data-driven corporate sustainability assessment in existence. Inclusion is limited to a select group of the top 100 large-cap companies in the world.

The list was announced at the end of at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Other British companies that feature on the list are: Centrica, which owns the gas production and services arm BG Group, BSKYB Broadcasting, Prudential and Sage.

The UK scores well compared with its peers in the developed world, with nine companies on the list, matching France. Germany has seven companies, Spain and the Netherlands both four, Switzerland three and Scandinavia as a bloc punches above its combined economic weight with 16 companies on the list.

The United States has, by comparison, a modest 10 companies and Canada a more respectable 11 companies.

In total, 56 of the top 100 are companies headquartered in Europe including Scandinavia.

Listed names that are notable for their corporate sustainability include oil and energy giant Royal Dutch Shell, car parts manufacture Bayerische Motoren Werke, US computer harware giants Intel and Cisco, Swedish truckmaker Scania and Spanish energy business Enargas, at 22 on the list

Germany’s Siemens came in 31st place, arguably lower than many would think given the industrial group’s vast investments in sustainability.

Belgian diversified materials group Umicore topped the list, followed by Brazil’s Natura Cosmeticos SA and Statoil of Norway in third.

The highest placed US company was Biogen Idec, in eight place behind Philips of the Netherlands.

The annual Global 100 is announced each year during the World Economic Forum in Davos. The Global 100 methodology for evaluating companies’ sustainability or “clean capitalism” performance was cited as a leading global practice by research group SustainAbility in their Rate the Raters research programme, Phase 4.

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