According to the UN World Commission on Environment and Development, sustainable development is the “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own need.”
Businesses have shifted their focus from tackling individual issues to the systematic integration of sustainable conduct into business operations and management systems. It is there more important to understand the role of the company and their behaviour in a wider context.
Here is a list of 10 sustainable companies in the world.
1. Novo Nordisk A/S
Novo Nordisk is a large manufacturer and marketer of pharmaceutical products and services. Created in 1989 in Denmark, it has become one of the world’s leading companies in diabetes care. They have solid experience pursuing research in pulmonary delivery systems. The company defines itself as a focused healthcare company with the broadest diabetes product portfolio.
In January of 2012, it ranked no. 1 in the global 100 most sustainable companies in the world index. It is recognized for its commitment to proactively managing environmental, social and corporate governance issues. The company ranked high amongst energy productivity, greenhouse gas productivity and employee turnover indicators to name a few.
2. Natura Cosmeticos
Natura is Brazil’s leading manufacturer and marketer of skin care, cosmetics, solar filters, hair, and perfume products. Since its conception in 1969, the company has grown to employ 800,000 consultants in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, France, Mexico, and Peru.
The company is committed to sustainable development. Antonio Luiz da Cunha Seabra, the founder, believes that it is second nature. The company allows for people to become intimate with their bodies. Peace brings change in both the mind and the soul. Increasingly, it has been steadfast at becoming socially and environmentally responsible.
3. Statoil ASA
Statoil is a petroleum company with production operations in 13 countries. In terms of its revenue, it is listed as the world’s 13th largest oil and gas company (Fortune). In April of 2012, the company decided to pre-accept a cash offer from Alimentation Couche-Tard for the shares in the listed energy and retail company. If successful, the offer would provide a premium of 53% of the current trading price.
The company was listed as #3 for a specific reason. It has worked hard to operate with zero harm to people, society, and the environment. They adhere and follow the standards for HSE, business ethics and social responsibility as well. Their persistence and efforts make this company one of the leading sustainable businesses in the energy industry.
4. Novozymes A/S
Novozymes is a Biotech company with headquarters in Denmark. Operating in over 30 countries, it is listed on the NASDAQ OMX Nordic exchange.
In January of 2012, the company was ranked no. 4 in the global 100 most sustainable companies in the world index. The company strives to lead by example by integrating sustainability into organizational practices. They create solutions that defy global challenges and incorporate as many sustainable initiatives into their own organization.
5. ASML Holding NV
This company is responsible for developing complex machines critical to the production of integrated circuits and microchips. With headquarters in the Netherlands, the company designs, creates, integrates and advertises these systems which help chipmakers not only reduce the size of the microchip, but increase the functionality as well.
The company has proven to be successful in sustainability. It has reduced their total CO2 footprint to 63.8 ktons (2011), which is a decrease by 24.9 ktons from previous years. The company is also committed to exceeding their targets to recycle non-hazardous materials. That is not all they are doing. Now, they are trying to make their machinery energy efficient.
6. BG Group PLC
BG is a leading natural gas company located in U.K. The company in 2010 was shown to reduce carbon dioxide equivalent emissions by 8%. Since 2007, the company also proved to reduce greenhouse gasses by 769,000 tones. The company is committed to strategic water management and is focused on raising awareness about major hazards.
7. Westpac Banking Corporation
Founded in 1982, it is known as one of the “Big 4” banks in Australia. It is also the largest bank in New Zealand. As of November of 2011, it has 12.2 million customers, Australia’s largest branch networks.
This global banking company is a leader on sustainability. According to the 2011 Dow Jones Sustainability Index, it ranks 1 out of 190 banks in terms of its commitment, Now it ranks 7th on the 2012 global 100 list of sustainable companies.
8. Vivendi S.A.
As a French multinational mass media and telecommunication corporation, it has activities in music, television, film, publishing, the internet to name a few. The company’s contribution to sustainable development is seen in its commitment to fulfill the need to communicate and sustain curiosity and develop talent.
9. Umicore S.A./N.V.
For this metal refining company, sustainable development means economic growth and the protection of the environmental quality. Responsibility is placed on the company to become committed to ensuring the health and safety of its workers, consumers and the citizens around them.
10. Norsk Hydro ASA
This top 10 company is a leading supplier of oil and energy as well as light metals and plant nutrition. It operates in more than 60 countries across the world and employs 40,000 employees. The Norwegian company continues to defend itself as a sustainable an industrial leader. It maintains excellent risk management and compliance systems that are recognized by the global 100 index.
Their conduct attests to their beliefs and stipulates that: “We shall show respect for people and the environment, and behave in a responsible and orderly manner when balancing different considerations and dilemmas.”