United Kingdom


  • Service: Audit
  • Industry: Financial Services, Banking, Insurance, Communications, Media, Oil and Gas, Power and Utilities, Real Estate, Retail and Consumer Goods, Technology
  • Type: Press release
  • Date: 22/01/2013

UK companies are gold medal winners for sustainable business 

  • 5 gold medal winners are UK-based


  • Strong CSR performance from leading UK companies


  • Amec, Anglo American, British American Tobacco and Sainsbury also honored as sector leaders


UK companies rank highly (4th equal) in the 2013 international gold medal-table for sustainable business, according to The Sustainability Yearbook 2013.


The 10th edition of The Sustainability Yearbook will be published by RobecoSAM, the investment specialist focused exclusively on Sustainability Investing, and KPMG International at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland on 23 January 2013.


Every year RobecoSAM rigorously assesses the sustainability performance of more than 2,000 companies worldwide 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 on which companies are doing the most to address the risks and opportunities of sustainability.


And the gold medals go to...

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 worldwide have been awarded gold medals in The Sustainability Yearbook 2013, which corresponds to just 2.5% of all companies assessed.


Five of these are based in the UK: Amec PLC (Oil Equipment & Services), Anglo American PLC (Mining), British American Tobacco PLC (Tobacco), J Sainsbury PLC (Food & Drug retailers) and Pearson PLC (Media).


South Korea, Australia, Taiwan and Canada, as well as European countries and the US, also feature on the list of top 10 gold medal-winning countries proving that sector-leading sustainability performance can now be found all over the world.



Gold medal table





United States









United Kingdom

















10 th







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.”


Vincent Neate, Head of Climate Change and Sustainability at KPMG in the UK, 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.”


Other highlights of the jubilee edition of The Sustainability Yearbook 2013


  • Unilever (Sector leader: Food Producers) is the only company that has achieved sector leader status every single year since The Sustainability Yearbook was first published in 2004


  • The number of North American companies that have participated in the RobecoSAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA) has almost doubled since 2004 from 111 to a total of 194 companies in 2012


  • Among the five largest sectors, Banks and Real Estate have had the biggest improvement in average scores since 2004 (+14% for Banks and +8% for Real Estate)


  • The five companies that have most improved their scores since 2012 are: Samsung Life Insurance Co (Insurance), Baker Hughes Inc (Oil Equipment & Services), Liberty Global Inc (Media), Infosys Ltd (Computer services & internet) and Microsoft Corp (Software)






Note to editors:

Also in The Sustainability Yearbook 2013

Sector Overviews:

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 magnify what is happening at the sector level with regard to sustainability.



Looking Back and Looking Ahead (by Gabriela Grab Hartmann, Deputy Head of Reserach, RobecoSAM, and Edoardo Gai, Head of Sustainability Services, RobecoSAM)

Supply Chain Management: The New Frontier of Corporate Sustainability (by Ida Karlsson, Sustainability Analyst, RobecoSAM)

Building Business Value in a Changing World (by Yvo de Boer, KPMG’s Special Global Advisor, Climate Change and Sustainability)


Sustainability Yearbook Construction: Methodology Overview


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. 


For additional information, please contact:


RobecoSAM AG

Francois Vetri

Head of Corporate Communications

Josefstrasse 218

8005 Zurich/ Switzerland

T: +41 44 653 10 02

E: com@robecosam.com




Margot Cowhig

Senior PR Manager


15 Canada Square, London E14 5GL

T: +44 (0) 20 7694 4246

E: margot.cowhig@kpmg.co.uk




About RobecoSAM

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.


About KPMG

KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services. We operate in 156 countries and have 152,000 people working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.



Important legal information: The details given on these pages do not constitute an offer. They are given for information purposes only. No liability is assumed for the correctness and accuracy of the details given.



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