Food and beverage companies among world’s 100 most sustainable

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 3rd February 2009

The annual Global 100: Most Sustainable Corporations in the World list has featured nine companies that either manufacture or distribute consumer staples, two more than last year.

Announced at the Economic Forum in Davos, the world’s 100 most sustainable corporations list was created for the fifth time by Corporate Knights Inc. and Innovest Strategic Value Advisors Inc., and once again did not feature any Australian companies outside of the financial and materials sectors.

Coca-Cola (beverages), Danone (food/beverages), Diageo (alcoholic beverages), Procter & Gamble (consumer goods) and Unilever (consumer goods) were the five manufacturers of food and beverages to make the list, with Kesko (Finland), Sainsbury (UK) and Aeon (Japan) the three grocery retailers to make the list. The other consumer staples company to make the list was cosmetics company L’Oreal, which is part-owned by food group Nestlé.

Nestlé, the world’s largest food manufacturer, was one of 35 dropped from last year’s list, with Aeon, Danone and Procter & Gamble among those added to the list this year.

Sustainability is currently a contentious but very important issue for companies around the world, with businesses that fail to act likely to be punished by consumers in the years ahead.

“We do not have the pretence to know how to resolve [the dispute over the true definition of sustainability], let alone be able to produce an authoritative blue-print for ‘sustainable behaviour’,” the Global 100 website reports. “What we do know is that social, environmental and governance factors are increasingly relevant to financial performance, and that companies which show superior management of these issues are fast gaining an edge over their competitors – an edge which we believe will translate into outperformance in the long haul.”

To view the full list please go to: www.global100.org.