January 25, 2012
Corporate Knights Publishes Eighth Annual Ranking of Sustainable Companies
by Robert Kropp
Danish pharmaceutical firm Novo Nordisk tops the 2012 Global 100 and the United Kingdom leads
countries with 16 companies on list.
Canadian media company Corporate
Knights announced today that Novo Nordisk, the Danish pharmaceutical firm, is the top-ranked
corporation in the 2012 2012 Global 100 Most
Novo Nordisk was cited for selling insulin to 33 of the
world's poorest countries at no more than 20% of the average price for developed nations. The
company also scored well in Corporate Knights' clean capitalism rankings, with strong performances
in energy productivity, greenhouse gas (GHG) productivity, and pay equity. It is also the only
pharmaceutical company in the rankings to link the compensation of its CEO to environmental,
social, and corporate governance (ESG) key performance indicators (KPIs).
finished 16th in the 2011 rankings, when Statoil, a Norwegian energy company, finished first.
Rounding out the top five companies in the 2012 rankings are Natura Cosmeticos (Brazil),
Statoil, Novozymes (Denmark), and ASML Holding (Netherlands). Two US-based companies— Life
Technologies at 15 and Intel at 18—were included in the top 20 companies. Intel ranked sixth in
2011; two other US-based companies ranked in the top twenty last year—Johnson & Johnson and General
Electric—fell out of the top 100 altogether in 2012.
The UK had most companies on the list
in 2012, with 16. Japan was next with 11 (down from 19 in 2011), followed by France and the US,
with eight apiece. In 2011, 13 US-based companies were included in the top 100.
methodology employed in the rankings consists of two steps. Phoenix Global Advisors, an ESG
research firm, determined the top 400 sustainability leaders from a universe of 3,500 developed and
emerging market stocks. Corporate Knights then ranked companies against their industry peers by
means of 11 KPIs.
From February, 2005, until December 31, 2011, the Global 100 Most
Sustainable Corporations achieved a total return of 41.70%, outperforming its benchmark, (the MSCI
All Country World Index) by more than 11%. Determination of the total return from the finalized
Global 100 index during the time frame was provided by Inflection Point Capital Management, an asset
management firm co-founded by Matthew Kiernan.
In 1992, Kiernan founded Innovest
Strategic Value Advisors, an ESG investment research firm.
Toby Heaps, CEO of Corporate
Knights, said, "In a year in which Wall Street was occupied and capitalism became a bad word, the
Global 100 companies serve as ambassadors for a better, cleaner kind of capitalism which, it also
turns out, is more profitable."