Corporate Sustainability Performance Improves Worldwide

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – A large number of companies around the world now recognize that a sustainable business strategy is not just good for the planet, but also for their own competitive growth. Key stakeholders, including investors and consumers, are increasingly willing to distance themselves from companies that fail to embed sustainability principles into their core business practices and strategy.

This encouraging trend has now been highlighted in the latest report by the independent sustainability ratings agency oekom research. The researchers have for the first time identified signs of overall improvement in sustainable business governance around the world.

According to the report, a possible reason for this positive shift in corporate sustainability is the pressure to change from several directions. This includes international initiatives, such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), national regulations, increasing demand for sustainable capital markets, and a general rise in sustainability awareness.

The report reveals that the share of mid-rated companies, which have at least rudimentary sustainability management systems, has increased most, from 35.8 percent in 2015 to 40.1 percent in 2016. The number of companies rated with a good or very good sustainability performance remained relatively constant compared to last year.

In the ranking of countries with the largest number of better-rated businesses, France leads with 16 companies, followed by Germany with 12 and the UK with 11. These are followed by the US and Sweden, both of which have six companies each in the list.

In terms of business sectors, automobiles and household & personal products sectors lead the industry rankings. Carmakers continue to score relatively well, despite downgrades of individual companies following exhaust- and emissions-reporting incidents.

The valuations of the oekom Carbon Risk Rating show much effort is still needed to achieve the global climate goals. Out of nearly 1,600 companies analyzed, over 91 percent received scores of only 0 to 50 points (on a scale from 0 to 100), and fewer than nine percent between 51 to 100 points.

Robert Hassler, CEO of oekom research, said that although not all industries are equally prepared for the transformational challenges to come, the findings of their study show more clearly than ever before that things are moving in the right direction. Sustainability has become so entrenched that even political setbacks cannot seriously derail the necessary change processes.

Source and Image: The C-Suite