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World’s Top Green Businesses Revealed

Jan. 22, 2019
"Leadership on environmental issues, shown by a recent ranking of companies based on environmental policies, goes hand in hand with being a successful and profitable business,” says CDP which curates the list.

As leaders gather at the of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos for a week of high-level discussions on the future of the global economy, the CDP group released its annual rankings of the top green businesses.

CDP's rankings score the thousands of companies which disclose to the organization on their environmental action. Split across climate change, water security and forests, the A List provides a holistic picture of how the corporate world is addressing environmental issues. 

“As the recent report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change showed, the next decade is crucial in our shift to a sustainable economy, and we believe corporates are at the heart of this transition,” said  Dexter Galvin, Global Director of Corporates and Supply Chains at CDP. By ranking companies, we aim not just to highlight leaders’ best practice, but to inspire all businesses to aim higher and take more action."

 Galvin points out that strong climate policies translate into strong business results. “That the STOXX Global Climate Change Leaders Index – which is based on the CDP A List – outperformed the STOXX Global 1800 by 5.4% per annum from December 2011 to July 2018, demonstrates that the leadership on environmental issues shown by the A List goes hand in hand with being a successful and profitable business.”

 The companies that disclosed to CDP in 2018 did so at the request of over 650 investors with assets of $87 trillion, and/or 115 major purchasing organizations with a combined spend of US$3.3 trillion. The data these investors and purchasers gather from CDP is crucial to inform their decision making, help them engage with companies, reduce risks and identify opportunities.

“ We particularly look to the CDP A List and scoring process to help improve the environmental performance of our suppliers, actively managing risks and identifying future opportunities,” said Alexandra Palt, Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer at L'Oréal

 Examples of leadership and innovation reported to CDP by A List companies include:

--By promoting ENERGY STAR certified products, Best Buy US helped its American customers realize utility bill savings of more than US$45 million in FY18, an energy saving which equates to removing nearly 55,000 cars from the road for a year.

-- Brazilian petrochemicals company Braskem has developed ‘Green PE’, a polyethylene produced from sugarcane ethanol (a renewable feedstock) which captures and fixes CO2 from the atmosphere during its production, helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

-- Its state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plant in China allows Swiss fragrance & flavor business Firmenich to operate a manufacturing plant that provides almost double the company’s previous manufacturing capacity. This additional capacity supports a targeted growth rate of as much as 8% per annum (through 2025), while efficiencies and increased sales may reduce unit costs by more than 10% (by 2021).

-- Japanese technology company Fujitsu is working to apply artificial intelligence (AI) to a diverse array of fields, including climate change adaptation measures. It has developed technology which uses AI-powered big data analysis to enable accelerated development of recovery plans when disasters occur.

-- UK property company Landsec has reduced its energy intensity by 14.3% (kWh/m2) by introducing energy savings initiatives; a reduction which equated to estimated cost savings of GBP£2.8 million (US$3.6 million) in 2017. 

-- Danish toy-maker LEGO Group launched the first LEGO elements made from plant-based plastic sourced from sugar cane and has committed to making all LEGO products from sustainable materials by 2030.

-- From 2013 to 2017, Korean electronics company LG Display developed and invested in 156 water-related reduction (water reuse) technologies, to save about KRW 4.61 billion (US$4 million).

--Through its participation in RE100, Danish health care company Novo Nordisk is already sourcing 79% of its power for production from renewable sources and has a target of 100% power from renewable sources by 2020.

--Australian IT company Telstra has created a Cloud Calculator Tool which helps businesses to transition to cloud technology through quantifying GHG emissions.

--Swedish packaging business Tetra Pak has achieved 100% fulfilment of its chain of custody certification and now only accepts paperboard that is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council as well managed or controlled wood sources.

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