Neste, an oil refiner headquartered in Espoo, Finland, was recognised in the index for the 15th consecutive year, the longest streak for any energy company in the world, sliding back one place from the previous year to fourth.
Peter Vanacker, the CEO of Neste, highlighted that cracking the listing is becoming more difficult by the year, as a growing number of businesses are integrating sustainability as a core part of their business.
“We are pleased to be recognised as one of the most sustainable companies in the world,” he commented. “We believe that, together with our partners, we can succeed in reducing the impacts of the climate crisis. We will also continue improving the sustainability of our own operations.”
“Our focus is on developing sustainable products and services to our aggregates, minerals and metals industry customers,” told Piia Karhu, the head of business development at Metso Outotec. “We can support our customers with energy-and-emission-efficient and water-efficient solutions, as well as circular solutions and safety. We are also committed to reducing the CO2 emissions of our own manufacturing, logistics and supply chain.”
Corporate Knights analysed 8 080 companies relative to their industry peers based on a series of environmental, social and governmental indicators, including clean investments, paid sick leave, and executive and board racial diversity.
The COVID-19 pandemic, it highlighted, has prompted governments around the world to kick-start their economies by allocating trillions for green investments in their stimulus plans. It is not only governments taking action, however, as also the number of companies and municipalities committing to net-zero goals has more than doubled since last year.
“[T]he Corporate Knights Global 100 index continues to demonstrate that sustainability is good business and enables companies to outperform their peers,” it argued.
Companies recognised in the index derived 41 per cent of their revenues from products or services that align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, according to Corporate Knights. They are additionally more gender diverse than their peers, with non-male members accounting for 32 per cent of their board members.
The advisory also drew attention to how the index illustrates how sustainability is clearly independent of economic might: Finland and Denmark each had five companies but China only two in the 2021 Global 100.