THURSDAY 16 FEB 2017 5:55 PM


As the dust settles in Davos, last month’s World Economic Forum brought into sharp focus the need for sustainability among businesses. With the key themes of globalisation and corporate responsibility shining through as top priority, calculating the world’s most sustainable companies has, for over 10 years, developed in tandem with the global business outlook on climate change.

For Toronto-based media firm, Corporate Knights, the annual release of the Global 100 Index manifests much more than a pecking order. Exponential growth of the corporate environment brings with it profit shifting, resource scarcity and the augmented need for organisations to work together to ensure a strong global climate. In that respect, the parameters of measuring forward-thinking within the corporate landscape include several crucial components.

The Global 100 Index 2017 has developed its most in-depth methodology to date, taking into consideration a data driven approach that includes 4,000 companies measured objectively across several KPI’s relevant to specific industries. The process, reviewed annually by stakeholder consultations and industry experts, takes on average 1,000 hours each year to produce. Yet the devil remains in the detail for 2017’s Global 100 Index, as the revised measurements consider a diverse number of categories including sustainability disclosure practices, financial health and relevant areas of consumption given an ‘intensity’ scaling corresponding with revenue in USD.

Taking the top spot in this year’s rankings, German industrial conglomerate, Siemens, showcased exemplary business tactics in energy efficiency, a low employee turnover rate and equally low carbon footprint securing the premier position. Norwegian insurance company, Storebrand ASA, won second place with the example of its executive pay strategy topping wider competition. Third place Cisco led diversity rankings with 38% of its executive staff female.

In total, Global 100 companies continue to showcase improvements in sustainability, yet as the lion’s share of success stories come from North America and Europe, further involvement in sustainability efforts on the global scale is something the index is yet to show.