Sustainable companies place a premium on environmentally-friendly practices. And it’s hard to read anything about business, travel or fashion, especially in a post-pandemic world, without coming across a report on how these industries are causing or contributing to climate change.
Companies, organizations and individuals alike have shone a spotlight on many unsustainable, as well as sustainable, practices in the last decade – while also rediscovering ways to futureproof the world. The Global 100 Index by Corporate Knights is a testament to that.
Every year, the media and research B Corp, which is reportedly powered by 100 percent renewable electricity, ranks the most sustainable publicly-listed companies across the globe, based on their climate commitments, carbon footprint, gender diversity and more.
In its most recent finding, Corporate Knights listed companies across steelmaking and logistics to power generation and railways.
The 10 most sustainable companies
1. Schnitzer Steel Industries
Appearing in the index for the first time in 2022, when it placed 15th, Schnitzer Steel is the first steelmaking company to earn a top spot in the Global 100.
While the steel industry is one of the most carbon-intensive, Schnitzer takes a sustainable approach by recycling steel and other metals – and then transforming this recycled scrap into finished products with the use of electric arc furnaces powered by hydropower, making the metal extremely low carbon.
“For a company that is 116 years old and that many consider to be ‘old economy’, to be recognized as a leading force in sustainability is a great example of how sustainability principles can be successfully applied to an industrial company,” says Tamara Lundgren, Schnitzer’s CEO, Chair and President.
2. Vestas Wind Systems
The Danish wind turbine manufacturer ranked first in the 2022 Global 100 and has ranked consistently high for a few years now. Since 2019, Vestas Wind has seen a 24 percent cut in its volatile organic compound emissions.
Its vast contribution to the renewable energy sector as well as the wellbeing and safety of workers makes it one of the most sustainable corporations across the globe today.
A supply-chain logistics company is not what crosses your mind when you think of sustainable businesses — owing to the huge amounts of waste the industry can produce. But Brambles is known for offering reusable pallets, crates and containers.
As a pioneer of the sharing economy, Brambles’ sustainability vision is to put in place regenerative supply chains that deliver life’s essentials in an environment- and people-positive way.
4. Brookfield Renewable Partners
A power generation company generating 99 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources like hydro, wind and solar, Brookfield Renewable Partners helps governments and businesses meet their decarbonization goals.
With approximately 24,000 megawatts of generating capacity and more than 8,000 power-generating facilities spread across five continents, it’s one of the largest investors in renewable power and climate transition assets.
Autodesk earns 93 percent of its revenue from offering sustainability-optimizing software for buildings and infrastructure.
It’s committed to delivering technology to help customers use energy and materials more efficiently, while reducing waste and moving towards a low-carbon economy.
6. Evoqua Water Technologies
With an ambitious target to recycle and reuse more water than it withdraws by 2035, Evoqua Water Technologies is a wastewater treatment systems and technologies provider – helping industrial, commercial and municipal markets across the world take a more sustainable approach in their day-to-day processes.
Its Water One service is a digital water management platform that helps companies build better water treatment systems.
7. Stantec (joint position)
Last year, Stantec was listed as a partner in the United Nations’ Decade of Ecosystem Restoration – a global contract signed by more than 70 companies – that aims to prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystems.
With a constant presence on the Global 100 ranking, the consulting services company provides engineering, architecture and environmental solutions to businesses across the world.
7. Schneider Electric (joint position)
Tying with Stantec in the seventh position in the 2023 Global 100, Schneider Electric garnered the first place spot in 2021.
A key goal of the energy and automation provider is to realize efficiency and sustainability opportunities for businesses across the globe by providing cutting-edge digital solutions.
8. Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy
Having developed the world’s first recyclable wind turbine blade in 2021, known as RecyclableBlade, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy bagged a spot among the top 10 most sustainable companies once again after 2018, when it was ranked seventh.
Apart from protecting the environment, the leader in the supply of wind power solutions also aims to combat poverty and foster technological education among diverse communities.
9. Taiwan High-Speed Rail
As surprising as it may sound, the Taiwan High-Speed Rail, which operates a 350-kilometer railway system along the west coast of Taiwan, took 43 million passengers on board with a 99 percent punctuality rate in 2021.
Apart from scoring high on energy and carbon productivity, the company also garnered points for its pension fund quality and enhancing local connections overall.
10. Dassault Systèmes
Dassault Systèmes, a provider of software for 3D product design and manufacturing, grew out of the aerospace industry and pivoted towards sustainability.
Now, it assists companies across architecture and materials to home and lifestyle with sustainable technology solutions – while also aiming to be sustainable itself.
Apart from its commitment to the environment, the company’s positive social impact and wellbeing of employees also justify its top ten position.