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'Global 100' lists world's most sustainable companies

Tuesday, January 22nd 2008 9:49:14pm

News, Business and Assignment Editors

Corporate Knights 'Global 100' most sustainable corporations announced in Davos

DAVOS, SWITZERLAND, January 23, 2008 – Today, Corporate Knights Inc. and Innovest Strategic Value Advisors announced the fourth annual Global 100 list of the most sustainable large corporations in the world. The Global 100 includes companies from 17 countries encompassing all sectors of the economy that were evaluated according to how effectively they manage environmental, social and governance risks and opportunities, relative to their industry peers.

The United Kingdom led the way with 24 Global 100 companies (same number as in 2007), plus two that are jointly headquartered in the UK. The United States followed with 16 (down from 19 in 2007) and Japan held steady at 13 to round out the top three. More than two-thirds (68/100) of the 2007 companies remained on the list in 2008. Finland, Sweden, and Australia-based companies surged ahead, with each country home to five Global 100 companies, compared to Canada, which dropped to just three Global 100 companies (from five in 2007).

This year’s Global 100 were recognized at the Davos World Economic Forum at a private dinner hosted by Corporate Knights and Innovest. The dinner discussion explored the potential opportunities for sovereign wealth funds to invest more money into the clean industries of the future. Sovereign wealth funds controlled US$3 trillion in investable assets in 2007, projected to grow to $12 trillion by 2012, according to the International Monetary Fund. Participants included George Soros, Chairman, Soros Fund Management; Kristin Halvorsen, Norwegian Minister of Finance; Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Laureate in Economics; and top brass from the International Finance Corporation, South Korean National Pension Service, and the United Nations Environment Program Finance Initiative.

Toby Heaps, Co-Founder and Editor of Corporate Knights magazine, says that “Sovereign funds from Oslo to Abu Dhabi to Moscow present a unique opportunity to transform the profits from the high carbon economy of coal and oil and pave the way to the low-carbon economy powered by renewable energy. The Global 100 companies are excellent partners to help make it happen.”

Matthew Kiernan, CEO of Innovest, a New York-based investment advisory firm, whose analysis underpins the list, noted, “As global investors become increasingly concerned about economic prospects for 2008, we believe that the Global 100 will be particularly well positioned to weather the storm and deliver superior value to investors.”

Toby Heaps, Editor-in-Chief, Corporate Knights + 1-416-274-1432 (mobile in Davos), toby@corporateknights.ca

Melissa Shin, Associate Editor, Corporate Knights + 1-416-203-4674 x3, mlissa@corporateknights.ca

Peter Wilkes, Managing Director, New York + 1-212-421-2000 x216, pwilkes@innovestgroup.com

Michelle McCulloch, Director of Client Relations, Toronto + 1-647-272-8146, cculloch@innovestgroup.com

Corporate Knights Inc. is an independent Canadian-based media company that publishes the world’s largest circulation magazine with an explicit focus on responsible business. The mission of Corporate Knights Inc. is to humanize the marketplace. Corporate Knights publishes the annual Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada as a Globe and Mail insert, and the annual Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World.

Innovest Strategic Value Advisors is an international investment advisory firm specializing in analyzing “non-traditional” drivers of risk and shareholder value including companies’ performance on environmental, social and strategic governance issues. Innovest was recognized in 2006 as the world’s top independent provider of “non-traditional” research by the Thompson Extel survey of major institutional investors. Founded in 1998, the firm currently has over US$1.3 billion under structured sub-advisory mandates. Innovest currently has clients in over twenty countries, with offices in Toronto, New York, London, Paris, Sydney, San Francisco and Tokyo.

The Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World is a project initiated by Corporate Knights Inc. (www.corporateknights.ca), with Innovest Strategic Value Advisors Inc. (www.innovestgroup.com). Launched in 2005, the annual Global 100 is announced each year at the World Economic Forum in Davos.