What does it take to be recognized as the cream of the sustainable crop? Well, here’s your chance to find out. At the launch of the World Economic Forum in Davos at the end of last month, Corporate Knights, a Canadian media and research company, announced the Global 100; a list of the most sustainable companies around the world. Which companies made the list and how did they get there? BizEnergy has you covered.

Canada’s most sustainable companies

According to The Globe and Mail, while only six Canadian companies made it onto the list last year, this year ten Canadian companies found their way into the top 100 most sustainable across the globe. Here are the companies, alongside their ranking and industry:

21. Teck Resources Ltd., mining

40. Barrick Gold Corp., mining

57. Canadian National Railway Co., transportation

60. Telus Corp., telecommunications

71. Nexen Inc., energy

79. Enbridge Inc., energy

81. Suncor Energy Inc., energy

85. Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada, financial services

87. Royal Bank of Canada, financial services

88. Cenovus Energy Inc., energy

Given the “dirty” nature of many companies operating within historically non-environmentally friendly sectors like mining and energy, some controversy has been raised among members of the media, who called into question the ranking system used by Corporate Knight to determine the top 100.

In response to questioning by newspapers like the Vancouver Observer, who reported being surprised that companies like Teck Resources, operators of one of the world’s largest smelting and refining plants, would be included in the top 100 most sustainable businesses, Doug Morrow, vice president of research at Corporate Knights reminds readers that the ranking is based solely on quantifiable information: “You can imagine how many frivolous lawsuit are brought against companies across all geographies and industries so we have to look at facts.”

Who can qualify and how?

A condensed version of the key performance indicators (KPIs) – the full version of which can be viewed on the Global 100 website – was compiled by Canadian Business and includes: energy, carbon, water and waste productivity; innovation capacity; percentage of paid tax; CEO to average employee pay; pension fund status; safety performance; employee turnover; leadership diversity; and clean capitalism pay links.

According to Social Funds, initial screening eliminates those companies that chose not to disclose at least 75% of the key performance indicators as well as those that did not meet financial capacity (according to the Global 100 website, only publicly traded companies that have a market capitalization in excess of $2 billion US are considered) and those who manufacture or distribute tobacco products or armaments. Companies were than ranked according to their ability to meet the 12 KPIs.

Read more about the selection criteria and process on the Global 100 homepage.

image credit: Christopher Maxwell

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