Corporate Knights released the 2021 edition of its annual Clean200 list of publicly traded companies on February 18 – a list of global companies with total revenues over $1 Billion annually, ranked by green energy revenues. According to the press release: “The Clean200 utilizes Corporate Knights Clean Revenue database which tracks the percent of revenue companies earn from clean economy themes including energy efficiency; green energy; electric vehicles; banks financing low-carbon solutions; real estate companies focused on low-carbon buildings; forestry companies protecting carbon sinks; responsible miners of critical materials for the low-carbon economy; food and apparel companies with products primarily made of raw materials with a significantly lower carbon footprint; and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) companies that are leading the way on renewable energy while also being best-in-sector according to currently accepted privacy benchmarks.” Certain companies are automatically excluded from consideration: weapons and military arms manufacturers, palm oil, paper/pulp, rubber, timber, beef and soy producers (as identified by As You Sow’s Deforestation Free Funds), as well as companies using child or forced labour, and companies that engage in negative climate lobbying.
According to the introductory article : “On average, 39% of revenues earned by Clean200 companies are classified as clean, which the majority of other revenues classified as neutral, compared to just 8% clean revenue for their peers.” Notably, the Clean200 companies also outperform others financially. Forty-six of the 200 Clean companies are headquartered in the United States; followed by Japan (26), China (17), France (15), and Canada and Germany (8 each). The top performing company is Alphabet Inc., parent company of Google, with 83.33% percent green revenue for 2019. For Canada, the list includes the Canadian Pacific and Canadian National Railways as well as Bombardier, Cascades Inc., Canadian Solar, Telus, Hydro One, and Brookfield Renewable Partners.
BUSINESS LEADERS ENDORSE CARBON PRICING, AN END TO FOSSIL FUEL SUBSIDIES, AND SCIENCE-BASED GHG REDUCTION TARGETS : The Business and Climate Summit in Paris on May 20-21 was opened by the President of France, with the UN’s Ban Ki Moon in attendance, along with 2000 international business leaders, policymakers and investors. The final press release called on policymakers to leverage public funds and private sector finance towards low-carbon assets; to introduce carefully designed and predictable carbon pricing; and to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies.
Another business group, the Caring for Climate program within the UN Global Compact, issued a statement at the Summit which commits them to carbon pricing, to set long-term targets based on science, and to speak up publicly against negative lobbying on climate action. As part of this effort, the Science Based Targets Initiative, led by the Carbon Disclosure Project and WWF, released Mind the Science, and Sectoral Decarbonization Approach: A method for setting corporate emission reduction targets in line with climate science . Both reports are available here .
Sustainability Talent Management: The New Business Imperative is a consultant’s report released in April by Alberta firm Strandberg Consulting. Arguing that companies will need to reinvent themselves to secure their access to resources and the social license to operate and grow, the author reviewed the business and human resource management literature since 2005 to arrive at five competencies required for leaders to successfully cope with the sustainability issues. These are: systems thinking, external collaboration, social innovation, sustainability literacy, and active values. It concludes: “Professional associations, management education and business schools should consider their role in equipping future leaders with these competencies. HR, talent and learning and development professionals can identify gaps in their current approach to leadership development and build these leadership qualities to enable future sustainable and commercial success. Organizations can use these competencies to enhance the talent pipeline and develop the next generation of leaders and the organizational capacities to steer corporations toward a sustainable future for all”.
A report published by WWF and the Carbon Disclosure Project of New York is directed to the business community, and argues that a 2020 “science-based” emissions reduction target can be reached profitably in steps of 3% per year reductions. The report strikes an urgent note, emphasizing the benefits of the “latent cost savings” of energy efficiency, and quantifying the costs of extreme weather and the necessity of pricing of carbon emissions. The 3% Solution: Driving Profits through Carbon Reduction is at: https://www.cdproject.net/CDPResults/3-percent-solution-report.pdf
An April White Paper published by the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions in B.C. presents case studies of 11 British Columbia small businesses which engaged in greenhouse gas emissions reduction projects in any or all of four areas: electricity, heating, transportation, and waste management. For each case, the report describes the initiatives taken and estimates the environmental benefits, financial costs, rate of return on the investment, and the projected payback time. The report also provides insights from a broader universe of 700 small businesses, including the observation that employees are more motivated to participate in emissions-reducing activities if they are offered a share in the savings achieved. Several recommendations are made to encourage small businesses to move to lower emissions practices.
Are Small to Mid-sized Businesses the Catalyst to a Low Carbon Economy in B.C.? at http://pics.uvic.ca/sites/default/files/uploads/publications/Small%20Business%20White%20Paper%20April%202013.pdf
Canada’s Top Employers project publishes an annual report which is often used by employment counselors and job seekers, to identify progressive and socially responsible potential employers. The list was announced in late April and includes winners of the environmental category. “Each employer was evaluated using the following criteria: 1) the unique environmental initiatives and programs they’ve developed; 2) how successful they’ve been in reducing their own environmental footprint; 3) the degree to which employees are involved and whether they contribute any unique skills; and 4) the extent that their initiatives have become linked to their public identity and whether they attract new people to their organization.” Profiles of each of the companies, describing their green credentials, are available on the website.
Canada’s Greenest Employers 2013 website is at http://www.canadastop100.com/environmental/