February 7, 2020


Who is the "Best Of" of Sustainable Companies in the Important Annual Rankings? Mirror, Mirror on the Wall - What Reflection for Our Company?

Mirror, mirror on the wall – who is the most sustainable company of them all?  That memorable line from the Walt Disney Studios’ 1930s classic, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, is being regularly applied now by a widening range of third party players in examining the performance and achievements of U.S., North American and global companies (and applying their methodologies on an ever-widening list of criteria). 

The results are published for all to see – such as this week’s Corporate Knights’ “2020 Global 100” unveiled at the World Economic Forum in Davos, which we are sharing in our Top Stories of the week.

In looking at the “fairest” of them all, or the best-in-class, in terms of corporate sustainability -- ESG ratings organizations, publishers, NGOs, investor coalitions, trade / professional associations, and others in the “ratings, rankings, scores and other recognitions” game are publishing many forms and variations of best-of lists.  These could be in applying rankings and ratings, and scores, with rationale for the selection.  Therein, important stories are told about companies in the list. (And, we should say, about those companies that are omitted.)

Besides the welcomed opportunity for corporate leaders to bask in the sunshine of the third party recognitions (“we got in this year’s best companies focused on…”), and to like the reflection in the “best of” mirror, there is are very practical aspects to these things.

Such as, the inclusion of a corporation in a critical ESG equity index / investing benchmark.  With the many examinations of companies now taking place, some of the scoring etc results have the effect of enabling a more complete, accurate and comparable corporate ESG profile as developed by the key ESG rating agencies for their investor clients.

In some cases, companies will have more information available from the third party examinations in critical ESG delivery platforms (such as in “the Bloomberg” and the Eikon platforms, in S&P Global platforms) to better package to inform and influence investors; and, lead to being recognized as a leader in a particular space by key investor coalitions (ICCR, INCR, Climate Action 100+, and more.). The latter means a multiplier effect is quickly bringing the sustainability news to more investors gathered in a community-of-interest on a topic (think of GHG emissions, climate change risk disclosure, diversity, human rights, reducing ESG impacts, supply chain accountability).

At the recent World Economic Forum meeting Davos, Switzerland, the “100 most sustainable companies of 2020” was announced.  Publisher Corporate Knights’ much-anticipated annual ranking of “most sustainable companies in the world” was the basis of the announcement.  That annual survey looks at 7,400 companies, with more than US$1 Billion in revenues, examining 21 KPIs. The stories of the companies from Fast Company and The Hill provide the details for you.  (This is the 17th year of the survey.)

At the Davos gathering this year, participants learned that almost half of the most sustainable companies were based in Europe (49); 17 were HQ in the U.S.A; 12 in Canada; 3 in Latin America, 18 in Asia, and one company in Africa. For the U.S.A., Cisco Systems is highest ranked (at #4, thanks to $25 billion generated for “clean revenues” from products with “environmental core attributes”). The #1 company is worldwide is Orsted of Denmark (renewable energy).

Our G&A Institute team closely monitors these and many other rankings, ratings, scores, corporate ESG profiles, and other critical evaluations of companies.  The results reflect the quality of management and board in the final analysis.  Company leaders are tuned in to the analysis and evaluations of their company’s ESG strategies, programs, actions, partnerships, achievements, and recognitions.

The knowledge we gain becomes part of the resources we’ve created to help our corporate clients get on and lead in the various “best of lists” – so their mirror mirror on the wall question reflects back a very welcoming image! 

And in these newsletters, we share with you the relevant news items and other content that helps to tell the story of the dramatic changes taking place in both the corporate community and in the capital markets.


Top Stories for This Week

The 100 most sustainable companies of 2020   
Source: The Hill - A ranking of the most sustainable organizations was unveiled at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Tuesday. 

These are the most sustainable corporations in the world   
Source: Fast Company - Canadian research firm Corporate Knights releases its annual list of most sustainable corporations in the world, with some new entries in the top 10. 

For a the complete list and important background, go to:
Corporate Kings’ 2020 Global Ranking  

And also from Davos:
World Economic Forum calls on business chiefs to set net-zero targets   
Source: Edie.com - In a letter from the Forum's Founder and executive chairman Klaus Schwab and the heads of Bank of America and Royal DSM Brian Moynihan and Feike Sijbesma, businesses have been urged to respond to climate science through the... 


Sustainability Standard Setters & Policy Makers

S&P Dow Jones Indices launches climate change index concept amid new EU standards
Source:  ETF Stream

New Tool Launches For Businesses to Take Meaningful Action on the Sustainable Development Goals
Source:  UNGC

Sustainable Development Goals Disclosure (SDGD) Recommendations
Source:  IIRC

JUMP TO MORE Sustainability Standard Setters & Policy Makers


ESG / Sustainable & Responsible Investment

A Tipping Point for Sustainable Investing   
Source: MorningStar 

Old Mutual pledges $8.3bn towards sustainable economies   
Source: International Investment 

Fashion’s Transition Toward Sustainability Could Create US$30B in Investment Opportunities Annually   
Source: Barron's 

JUMP TO MORE ESG / Sustainable & Responsible Investment

Corporate Sustainability / ESG

Nestlé accelerates sustainable packaging initiatives   
Source: Supply Chain Digital 

Coke's UK head of sustainability says we don't have a packaging problem, we have a waste and litter problem   
Source: Treehugger 

JUMP TO MORE Corporate Sustainability / ESG



G&A Institute Interns during their remote internship learn and master important elements about the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards for sustainability reporting, along with other common reporting frameworks used by investors, such as, CDPRobecoSAM CSA (DJSI), SASB, IIRC, the UN SDGs, and other frameworks. An example of topics and issues of discussion and research during this internship include the concepts of materiality, stakeholder engagement, external assurance, reporting balance, comparability, and many others. All of which is valuable knowledge and experience that can be applied in your studies and future careers

Click here for more information and full description of requirements. Interested parties should submit their resume with required accompanying documentation by February 15th!

G&A Institute Sustainability Update
Informative, insightful, thought provoking
Governance & Accountability Institute's blog focusing on the sustainable world evolving daily before our eyes. Read it, absorb it, question it and challenge.

BlackRock’s CEO’s 2020 Letter to Corporate CEOs – Explaining the World’s Largest Asset Manager’s Perspectives and Actions on the Global Climate Change Crisis

Hello to Year 2020 and the Start of the Third Decade of the 21st Century – Climate! Climate! Climate! is The Dominant Theme of News & Commentary!





FLASH REPORT: 60% of Russell 1000® Are Publishing Sustainability Reports, G&A Institute’s 2018 Inaugural Benchmark Study Shows

FLASH REPORT: 86% of S&P 500 Index® Companies Publish Sustainability / Responsibility Reports in 2018

Learn More About G&A Research



From the Agora: Consumers & Sustainability

How To Be A More Sustainable Traveler In 2020   
Source: Forbes 

4 Shoe Brands Trying To Do Vegan Footwear In A 'Sustainable' — And Stylish — Way   
Source: Fashionista 

Food sustainability a growing concern for US consumers, Israeli AI startup says   
Source: Times of Israel 

JUMP TO MORE Consumers & Sustainability


Global Sustainability : Forward Momentum!

USGBC Releases the Top 10 States for LEED, Recognizing Leaders Committed to More Sustainable and Resilient Buildings, Cities and Communities
Source: USGBC
Most British consumers support sustainable packaging alternatives   
Source: Packaging Gateway 

Report: Sustainable Procurement Creates Proven ROI   
Source: Environmental Leader 

Why Sustainable Businesses Can Both Profit and Pay It Forward - text/video   
Source: Forbes 

JUMP TO MORE Global Sustainability : Forward Momentum!


Sustainability Data That Matter

Yara and IBM Launch an Open Collaboration for Farm and Field Data to Advance Sustainable Food Production   
Source: AIThority 

JUMP TO MORE Sustainability Data That Matters



The Sustainability Highlights eNewsletter is prepared by Governance & Accountability Institute, Inc. based on continuous monitoring of trends and developments in Sustainability and ESG. Copyrights for other providers are noted where appropriate. Please credit the source if quoted. Content © 2009 - 2020 - All Rights Reserved.

Governance & Accountability Instiute is the "Sustainability Headquarters™" for clients in the corporate, investment, public and social sectors. Based in New York, G&A is a for-profit consulting organization providing a range of value-added strategies, services and resources related to ESG & sustainability to clients in the corporate and capital markets communities. For G&A's full range of services, click on each of the links: Sustainability / ESG Consulting Services, Communications & Recognition Services, Investor Relation Services. For more information, visit www.ga-institute.com or contact us at 646.430.8230 or info@ga-institute.com.