Corporate Knights is, as it declares, a “Magazine for Clean Capitalism.” Based out of Toronto, Ontario, the media company screens global corporations annually to determine which ones are the most sustainable each year. The numbers are in for 2016, and while the United States makes an impressive presence on the list, it fails to make an appearance until lucky number 13. Rather, European and Asian nations continue to prove their commitment to The Paris Agreement of 2015.
Corporate Knights ranks companies using 12 key performance indicators. The companies reviewed are mid-sized to mega-conglomerates and possess a market cap of around $2 billion. This company also looks at how the companies maximize the performance of their employees and capital, all the while using their resources sustainably to bring in that capital. The media company releases its findings at the annual World Economic Forum in Switzerland.
2016 Top 10
German luxury automaker BMW was this year’s most sustainable company with an overall score of 80.10 percent. Using parameters such as energy usage, greenhouse gas emissions, waste generation, and water consumption, BMW left its competition in the dust by exceeding in its, “efficient use of water, energy, and lack of waste,” as quoted from the report by Forbes magazine. Taking the top spot this year is an impressive five-place jump from 2015, when the company was ranked sixth.
The businesses rounding out the top 10 from second to ninth are software designer Dassault Systemes from France; Finland construction and engineering firm Outotec; the Commonwealth Bank of Australia; Adidas, another German-based business; Spanish gas and utility provider Enagas; Denmark’s Danske Bank; StarHub, a wireless telecommunication service company based out of Singapore; UK household product manufacturer Reckitt Benckiser Group; and Singapore real estate developer City Developments.
The U.S. Presence
The United States boasted the most companies on the 2016 list with a total of 19. Coca-Cola grabbed the first U.S. spot at number 13, and other major U.S.-based sustainable companies included Applied Materials, Biogen, Cisco Systems, Ecolab, General Mills, Intel, and Johnson & Johnson. Coming in at 84 is one company that WSU Online ranks as a top five solicitor of MBA graduates to join its workforce, and that is technology giant Apple, based in Cupertino, California.
Considering part of the ranking factor for all those that made the list of 100 is how a company treats its employees, even a position of 84 bodes well for Apple. This infographic demonstrates that sustainability has been in the forefront of people’s minds since England’s Industrial Revolution, but it has been only in the last few decades that people have really taken note. Apple, and the other businesses on the list were also ranked by the desire to work there and sustainability bonuses paid to top personnel.
As the threat of global warming heats up – no pun intended – and many still balk at the science proving environmental destruction, these 100 companies show that capitalism can still be profitable yet caring. Billions of dollars are made annually by these organizations, and they show other businesses that you can make this much money without destroying the environment. Here’s hoping the rest of the world’s businesses will catch on, whether small, medium, or large and strive to make next year’s top 100.