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Corporate Knights Announces Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations at World Economic Forum in Davos

Wednesday, January 23rd 2013 8:25:00am

Media Release

Corporate Knights Announces the ‘Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World’ at the World Economic Forum in Davos

DAVOS, SWITZERLAND (under embargo until 2:01 am EST), January 23rd, 2013

Corporate Knights, the Toronto-based media and investment research company, announced today its Global 100 list of the world’s most sustainable corporations at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Recently recognized as the world’s most credible corporate sustainability ranking, the Global 100 consists of the 100 top-performing stocks worldwide on a range of sector-specific ‘sustainability’ metrics.

In aggregate, the Global 100 had revenues of US$3 trillion (roughly 4.5 per cent of global GDP) and a workforce of nearly 5.3 million in 2011.

The top-ranked company in this year’s Global 100 was Umicore (EBR: UMI), the Belgium-based materials technology and recycling company.   The top 5 were rounded out by Natura Cosmeticos, Statoil, Neste Oil and Novo Nordisk.  

Umicore derives the majority of its revenue (2011: US$20 billion) from clean technologies such as catalysts that reduce pollution from vehicles powered by internal combustion engines. It achieved the top overall ranking in the 2013 Global 100 due to its strong, across-the-board sustainability performance.  The company notched top-quartile performance on six of the 12 indicators used in the project, including carbon and water productivity, and employee turnover.

Commenting on this year’s Global 100, Toby Heaps, Corporate Knights CEO, remarked, “the Global 100 are leading a resource productivity revolution, transforming waste into treasure and doing more with less.  They are steering our civilization away from ecological overshoot and back to a place of balance with our planet.”

He added, “on carbon, water, energy, and waste, the Global 100 are on track to double their resource productivity by 2025 in two-thirds of the cases, and in an era of peak commodity prices, this makes as many dollars as it does sense.”

Canada and the United States led the way in country representation, each with 10 constituents, followed by Australia, Britain and France, each with 9 constituents. Overall, the Global 100 drew companies from 22 countries on six continents.
Corporate Knights uses its flagship Global 100 ranking and the underlying research methodology to explore ‘sustainable’ investment strategies with investors.
Doug Morrow, the VP Research at Corporate Knights, says, “the Global 100 is one of the few equity indexes that we are aware of that has outperformed the MSCI All Country World Index (ACWI) - the Global 100’s benchmark - by over 900 bps over the last 8 years.  It turns out that our methodology for stock selection in the Global 100 is a strong proxy for corporate operational efficiency, which has been an increasingly important driver of stock returns in recent years.”

Corporate Knights collected data for the project primarily from Bloomberg and through direct engagement with the 350 companies that made the project’s shortlist, selected from the project’s starting universe of all global mid and large cap stocks (numbering approximately 4,000).

The Global 100 uses a two-step methodology. First, companies from the starting universe are screened according to their sustainability disclosure practices, financial health, product types and recent legal payouts. Those companies that remain are then scored, relative to their same-sector peers, on a set of key performance indicators (KPIs). A different suite of KPIs is used for companies in each industry, depending on recent reporting trends in each industry group.
Added Morrow, “we feel that the sustainability data that flows into our Global 100 research model, once properly cleansed, can contain hidden and statistically robust signals about companies’ future financial performance.  It is a vastly underutilized source of competitive information on Wall Street and in the asset management community worldwide.”
For full rankings and other details, please see: www.global100.org or www.corporateknights.com/global100.

About Corporate Knights: Founded in 2002, Corporate Knights is an independent Toronto-based media and investment research company. http://www.corporateknights.com/

About the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World (Global 100: The Global 100 is an annual project initiated by Corporate Knights, the company for clean capitalism. Launched in 2005, the Global 100 is announced each year at the World Economic Forum in Davos.


Contact information:

Toby Heaps, CEO, Corporate Knights
Phone: +1 (416) 274-1432
Email: toby@corporateknights.com

Doug Morrow, VP Research, Corporate Knights
Phone: +1 (416) 272-5483
Email: doug@corporateknights.com

Appendix I: Financial Performance of the Global 100 Since Inception (February 1st, 2005) to December 31st, 2012

The graph below shows the monthly total return of the Global 100 and its benchmark, the MSCI All Country World Index (ACWI) in $US, since inception (February 1, 2005) to December 31, 2012, inclusive.  Over this period, the Global 100 offered investors a 59.89% total return, compared to 50.39% for the MSCI ACWI, resulting in 9.5% outperformance. The Global 100 is equally-weighted and mirrors the industry composition of the MSCI ACWI on a percentage basis.

Appendix II:  Resource Productivity

In order to double productivity every 12 years, a company must sustain an annual compounded rate of improvement of 6 per cent. Using improvements achieved during the 2009 to 2011 period, the table below shows the proportion of the Global 100 that is sustaining this level of performance on each of the four ‘resource productivity’ indicators in the Global 100 research model.

Appendix III: Country Representation in the 2013 Global 100

Appendix IV: 2013 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World