Story at a glance
- Denmark-based renewable energy provider Ørsted topped the list.
- Nearly half the companies on the list are based in Europe, while 29 are based in North America and 18 in Asia.
- Cisco Systems, Inc. is the highest ranked American organization at number 4.
A list of the 100 corporations doing the most to implement sustainable business practices was released Tuesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where world leaders gathered and called for cooperation on climate change.
Canadian research firm Corporate Knights released its 16th annual ranking of the world’s 100 most sustainable corporations after an assessment of nearly 7,400 companies with more than $1 billion in revenues.
The world’s most sustainable corporation in 2020 is Danish renewable energy provider Ørsted.
The electricity company climbed 69 spots since 2018. A decade ago, the company produced 85 percent of its energy from fossil fuels and 15 percent from renewable energy. Now, it’s reversed that proportion and is aiming to “essentially become carbon neutral" by 2025. Ørsted has divested in fossil fuels and began investing in offshore wind power to dramatically cut carbon emissions. It’s the first electricity company to earn the number one spot.
Last year’s top-ranked company, Chr. Hansen, a Danish bioscience company that uses “good bacteria” to preserve food, protect plants and reduce overreliance on antibiotics in livestock farming, was ranked No. 2. Finland’s Neste, an oil refiner switching from refining crude oil to using cooking waste and other bio-based materials as a feedstock, came in third.
Technology conglomerate Cisco was the top U.S. company on the list, ranking fourth. Cisco rose 10 places from last year, thanks to more than $25 billion in clean revenues from products with “environmental core attributes.” American software group AutoDesk came in fifth, rising 43 places from 2019 now that it uses 99 percent renewable energy to run its cloud platforms.
The ranking includes 49 companies based in Europe, 29 headquartered in North America and 18 in Asia.