Global 100 recognizes 8 American companies as most sustainable

Claims abound as to which companies are the most sustainable, the most “green”. But when the dust settles, one list says it like it is.

The eighth annual Global 100 list was announced at last week’s World Economic Forum, held this year in Davos, Switzerland. It designates eight U.S. firms as being among the most sustainable in the world.

Corporate Knights, a Toronto-based media company committed to clean capitalism, launched the Global 100 in 2005 as an extensive, data-driven corporate sustainability assessment.

Although this year’s list includes high tech firms, it also  includes automotive components, health care equipment and real estate companies. Notably not present on the list was Apple, which recently came under fire for alleged environmental pollution and injuries at its China factories.

The U.S. lags well behind Europe and Japan, who scored 16 and 11 companies respectively on the Global 100.  And perhaps it’s small wonder. The criteria sustainable companies are judged on for the list include:

  • carbon/energy/waste/safety productivity
  • leadership diversity
  • CEO-average worker pay ratio
  • employee turnover
  • innovation capacity

photo by s.falkow, flickr

Although a number of businesses have made significant strides in many of these areas, the commitment to work within all of them equally certainly presents great challenges for American business leaders.

The list’s sponsors seek to recognize firms that will help lead to the next era of green economic growth. It will be fascinating to see which companies make next year’s list.

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