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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 Sustainable Companies.

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).

Novo Nordisk 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.

The 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."


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