Companies from the USA, Germany and South Korea are at the top of the 2013 international gold medal-table for sustainable business, according to The Sustainability Yearbook 2013 published by RobecoSAM, the investment specialist focused exclusively on Sustainability Investing, and KPMG International.
Every year RobecoSAM rigorously assesses the sustainability performance of more than 2,000 companies across 58 sectors. Based on an in-depth analysis, each company is scored on up to 120 financially material economic, environmental, social and governance criteria specific to its own industry with a focus on long-term value creation.
The results are published in The Sustainability Yearbook as a guide to investors worldwide on which companies are doing the most to address the risks and opportunities of sustainability.
Gold medals are awarded to the top-performing company within each sector and to those companies whose scores are within 1% of their sector leader’s score. A total of 67 companies have been awarded gold medals in The Sustainability Yearbook 2013, which corresponds to just 2.5% of all companies assessed.
The country with the highest number of gold medal winners was the USA, with nine companies shining. Germany and South Korea each account for six gold medal winners; Australia, Taiwan and Canada also feature on the list of top 10 gold medal-winning countries proving that Europe (apart from Germany, the UK, France, Spain, the Netherlands and Italy made into top 10) is no longer the exclusive bastion of corporate sustainability and that sector-leading sustainability performance can now be found all over the world.
For each of the 58 sectors, The Sustainability Yearbook 2013 provides a summary of the associated sustainability opportunities and risks. In other words, this edition has 58 individual summaries, in which different sustainability topics are addressed depending on the sector. Furthermore, it highlights the unique economic, environmental and social dimensions that are relevant to the sustainability analysis of each sector. Overall it gives readers the opportunity to understand what is happening at the sector level with regard to sustainability.
Michael Baldinger, CEO, RobecoSAM, said: “Since we launched our first Sustainability Yearbook 10 years ago, it has become the reference book on corporate sustainability. Over the last decade, sustainability has become an essential item on corporate agendas and companies have made such great strides that today it is much harder for them to stand out against their peers and make into the Yearbook. We congratulate them on their success and are convinced that this competition benefits all stakeholders and shareholders.”
Yvo de Boer, Special Global Advisor on Climate Change & Sustainability, KPMG International, said: “Business is entering a period of unprecedented opportunity and risk due to a potent cocktail of megaforces including climate change, population growth, water scarcity, urbanization and ecological decline. Investors should consider the companies awarded gold medals in The Sustainability Yearbook 2013 as among the best prepared within their own sectors to manage these challenges and make themselves fit for the future.”
Igor Korotetskiy, Head of Corporate Governance and Sustainability at KPMG in Russia and the CIS commented: "In recent times, we have seen Russian companies pay increasing attention to sustainable development, and to responsible investing in particular. Although no Russian company is on The Sustainability Yearbook at the moment, we are sure that this is only a matter of time. It is worth noting that for Russian companies this trend is being driven not just by investors' expectations but also by internal factors in terms of efficiency and supporting sustainable growth."
About the survey
Over 3,000 of the world’s largest companies, including 800 companies based in the emerging markets, are invited to participate in RobecoSAM’s Corporate Sustainability Assessment every year. Only the top 15% from each of the 58 RobecoSAM sectors qualify for inclusion in The Sustainability Yearbook.
RobecoSAM is an investment specialist focused exclusively on Sustainability Investing. Its offerings comprise asset management, indices, private equity, engagement, impact analysis and sustainability assessments as well as benchmarking services. Together with S&P Dow Jones Indices, RobecoSAM publishes the globally recognized Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes (DJSI). RobecoSAM was founded in 1995 out of the conviction that a commitment to corporate sustainability enhances a company’s capacity to prosper, ultimately creating competitive advantages and stakeholder value. Headquartered in Zurich, RobecoSAM employs over 100 professionals. As of December 31, 2012, RobecoSAM’s assets under management, advice and license amounted to a total of USD 11.4 billion.