The annual Corporate Knights global 100 ranking of sustainable corporations, in partnership with Matthew Kiernan’s new fund management venture, has been released at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Corporate Knights, a Canadian responsible business magazine, said Danish drugs firm Novo Nordisk topped the listing.
The list, launched in 2005, is put together in partnership with Inflection Point Capital Management, the asset management firm Kiernan formed after he sold the sustainability research firm he founded, Innovest, to RiskMetrics in 2009. The list previously used sustainability ratings from Innovest. Inflection Point was launched at Davos two years ago.
Other partners in the Global 100 initiative are Global Currents and Phoenix Global Advisors, which are also Inflection Point partners.
Global Currents is a value manager owned by US funds giant Legg Mason which took a stake in Inflection Point in return for investment infrastructure and additional sustainability and investment research. Phoenix is a Chicago-based technology platform.
In addition Corporate Knights said it formed what it termed the ‘Global Responsible Investment Network’ with Inflection Point, Global Currents and Phoenix to create the 2012 list.The Global 100 is claimed to be the “most extensive data-driven corporate sustainability assessment” in the world.
Since inception, the list has achieved a total return of 41.7%, outperforming its benchmark – the MSCI All Country World Index – by more than 11%.
Among the 22 countries reviewed, the UK led the way with 16 companies in the list, five more than in 2011.
The research measures around 2,100 listed companies on 11 key performance indicators (KPIs) ranging from resource productivity to executive pay and staff turnover.
Corporate Knights says the rankings are designed to be “product- and service-agnostic” – with no subjective screens to separate sinful and virtuous companies.
“If you can objectively score companies on meaningful criteria and those scores can be used to influence market forces, it will be possible to divert capital away from inefficient, irresponsible firms toward more resource-productive and responsible ones,” said Corporate Knights President Toby Heaps.
“The main foundation for Novo Nordisk is the triple bottom line because that is what’s protecting our license to operate,” said Novo Nordisk CEO Lars Rebien Sorensen.