Top 10 green companies
CSO Magazine counts down the top 10 green companies, according to Corporate Knights’ ranking of companies which generates more than $1bn in annual revenue.
10 | Taiwan Semiconductor - 77.71%
Taiwan Semiconductor are the world’s largest dedicated semiconductor foundry. Corporate Knights gave them a sustainability score of 77.71%. Its revenue, as of 2017, was $32.89bn and they employed 46,968 people. It says that the firm pioneered the pure play business model for semiconductor foundries, saying: “By choosing not to design, manufacture or market any semiconductor products under its own name, the Company ensures that it never competes directly with its customers.”
9 | Shinhan Financial Group Co. - 77.75%
South Korean Shinhan Financial Group oversees both Shinhan Bank and the smaller Jeju Bank, and achieved a score of 77.75%. Headquartered in Seoul, the organisation is descended from Korea’s oldest bank. The company emphasises the role of “Compassionate Finance” in the way they do business, with CEO Cho Yong-byoung saying, “going forward, all Shinhan members will practice ‘compassionate finance for the future’ to realize the Group’s mission of creating a virtuous cycle of shared prosperity.”
8 | Banco do Brasil S.A. - 78.15%
Banco do Brasil describes itself as the largest financial institution in Latin America. Founded in 1808 in Rio de Janeiro, the Brazilian company had a revenue of approximately $53bn in 2017, and employed 99,161 people. Mainly focused on the Brazilian market, the company facilitates access to the country for foreign companies looking to market there. Corporate Knights’ score of 78.15% puts them in eighth place.
7 | Umicore - 79.05%
Belgian materials company Umicore scored 79.05% on the metric. Having originated as a mining company, Umicore now focuses on clean technologies. They employ 10,400 people and have a revenue of $3.7bn (excluding metal). Umicore says its “overriding goal of sustainable value creation is based on an ambition to develop, produce and recycle materials in a way that fulfils its mission: materials for a better life.”
6 | Prologis, Inc. - 79.12%
Multinational real estate investment trust Prologis achieved a total score of 79.12%. With properties in 19 countries, they employed 1,617 people and had a revenue of $2.804bn in 2018. Headquartered in San Francisco, Prologis covers 72mn square meters of property, with assets worth $97bn. The company says that it “strives to be an exemplary corporate citizen, to minimise our environmental impacts and to maximize beneficial outcomes for our stakeholders.”
5 | GlaxoSmithKline plc - 79.41%
London-based pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline comes in fifth, with a score of 79.41%. The firm is recognised for both its drugs and consumer products such as Horlicks and Nicorette. It reported its 2018 revenue as $39.83bn, and said it employed 98,462 people in 2017. In September 2018, the company announced a set of commitments around responsibility, aligning itself with UN Sustainable Development Goal 3 of promoting Good Health & Wellbeing.
4 | Ørsted - 80.13%
Ørsted is Denmark’s largest energy company. With a total score of 80.13%, its revenue in 2018 was $11.55bn and they employed 6,080 people. Its CEO, Henrik Poulsen, has said "to slow down climate change, we must transform society with CO2 neutral solutions." Accordingly, the firm has made a commitment to fully phase out coal by 2023, and have established a focus on green energy such offshore wind to replace that energy source. The company’s resolve was further demonstrated by 2016 their name change, where they divested themselves of their former name DONG Energy (Danish Oil and Natural Gas).
3 | Neste Corporation - 80.92%
Neste are a Finnish oil refining company. While the presence of an oil refining company on a sustainability list may at first seem a surprise, Neste says: “We have always thought in a different way. We want to challenge the oil refining industry by offering increasingly clean fuel solutions and applications based on renewable raw materials.” This effort is reflected in their score of 80.92%. Their 2018 revenue was $16.73bn, and they employed an average of 5,468 people.
2 | Kering SA - 81.55%
The Paris-based luxury goods company Kering is second on the list with a score of 81.55%. Owner of brands of the likes of Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Balenciaga, the company reported its 2018 revenue as $15.33bn dollars, and said that it employed on average 30,595 people. One factor propelling them up the list was the high percentage of women on its board; 64%, the highest of all the companies examined by Corporate Knights.
1 | Chr. Hansen Holding A/S - 82.99%
With an overall score of 82.99%, the enviable title of most sustainable company in the world is Denmark’s bioscience company Chr. Hansen. The result is even more impressive considering the company’s founding in 1874, making it almost 150 years old. In 2017/18 the company employed 3150 people on average and had a revenue of $1.23bn. The firm has a key focus on the production of cultures, enzymes and natural colourings for the food industry. Chr. Hansen say that its “purpose is to deliver natural innovative solutions that address global challenges by advancing food, health and productivity.”