Sixteen years after the first Global 100 ranking, and one year after a global pandemic, there are clear indications that corporations that “do good” also do well financially.

According to the Toronto, Ontario-based publication Corporate Knights, from its inception on February 1, 2005, to December 31, 2020, the Global 100 index has generated a total return of 263 per cent versus the 220 per cent increase of its benchmark, the MSCI ACWI (All Country World Index). For the calendar year 2020, the Global 100 was up 26 per cent compared with a rise of 16 per cent for the MSCI ACWI.

The COVID pandemic has not slowed the momentum for sustainable corporate policies. According to the report, rather than abandon sustainability pledges, governments around the world have seized on the opportunity presented by the need to kick-start their economies to inject trillions of dollars of green investments into their stimulus plans.

The report indicates that in addition to national governments taking action, the number of companies and municipalities signing on to net-zero has more than doubled since last year. The $5-trillion Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance and a $9-trillion Net Zero Asset Managers initiative, whose members have committed to decarbonizing their portfolios in line with global efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C, were also launched this year.

The Global 100 Launch and Speeding Up the Race to Zero CEO roundtable on January 25 featured a dynamic roundtable discussion on the new data and new trends on global ESG and sustainability performance.

The virtual event included The Prince of Wales, Sanda Ojiambo of the United Nations (Global Compact), Lawrence Kurzius of McCormick & Co., Roberto Marques of Natura & Co., Mads Nipper of Ørsted, Jean-Pascal Tricoire of the Global 100 top-ranked company Schneider Electric, and moderator Diana Fox Carney.

According to the Prince of Wales, the Corporate Knights Global 100 index “has set out to benchmark transparently and raise the bar on what it means to be a sustainable corporation. At its core, this ranking is a noble pursuit of the idea that business can – and must be – a force for good.”

The Prince also discussed the Terra Carta, a new charter from his Sustainable Markets Initiative, that was recently unveiled at the One Planet Summit. The 10-point pandemic recovery charter challenges businesses to “put nature, people and the planet at the heart of global value creation” over the next decade, in a move backed by several major corporations, including Unilever, BP and BlackRock.

For further information on the Terra Carta, click here.

For further information on the Global 100 report, click here.

Featured image: Prince of Wales, screen capture from YouTube.

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