The United Nation’s recommended sustainable development goals (SDGs) are on the agenda of many global companies. After all, they involve strategic and coordinated multistakeholder efforts to mitigate water scarcity, climate crisis, discrimination, and fraud risks. Moreover, investors and consumers want to know how each enterprise performs on the related regulatory requirements. As such, this post will elaborate on the top 8 most sustainable companies in 2023 that deserve investors’ attention.
What is a Sustainable Company?
Sustainability refers to preserving the available finite resource to ensure that future generations and the environment maintain a reasonable and mutually beneficial co-existence. Therefore, in a corporate context, the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria can aid managers, authorities, investors, and individuals in examining a brand’s commitment to SDGs.
Criteria for Sustainable Companies in 2023
- The environmental requirements encompass water preservation, forest protection, pollution control, responsible waste management, and renewable energy integration. Moreover, an enterprise can prioritise reducing plastic packaging and electricity consumption to improve its performance.
- The social pillar of ESG that helps assess sustainable companies involves celebrating multiculturalism and enhancing workplace safety standards. Consider the rising awareness of issues like the gender pay gap, social security, and recruitment discrimination. As a result, investors and governments want to hold businesses accountable for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).
- The governance metrics comprise accounting transparency and bribe prevention. Along with these financial fraud mitigation necessities, an organisation must invest in effective cybersecurity measures. Doing so helps combat corporate espionage and data theft. Besides, more territories have enacted consumer privacy protection laws, making this reporting pillar more significant.
The Top 8 Sustainable Companies in 2023
1| Schnitzer Steel Industries Inc.
The circular economy approach gave Schnitzer Steel an “A plus” grade in 2022. Brands implement this business model to repair, reuse, and repurpose available systems to extend service lives. Therefore, Schnitzer Steel is an excellent case of how the circular economy and efficient product lifecycle management can enhance a firm’s ESG and SDG compliance.
This company manufactures steel and recycles scrap metal. It uses the latest electric arc furnace technology instead of conventional steel fabrication methods. Also, the electricity consumed comes from 100% renewable resources. It is based in Portland, Oregon, and over half of its leadership comprises non-male executives or board directors.
Schnitzer Steel ranks top based on energy transition, carbon footprint reduction, and responsible water usage in the steel industry. So, investors wanting to screen the stocks related to the most impactful sustainable companies leveraging circular economy must consider this A+ organisation.
2| Brambles Ltd.
Brambles Limited employs a “share and reuse” model to address the clients’ logistics concerns. Using this sharing economy model, it has become one of the top sustainable companies in 2023. Brambles can empower global suppliers and their beneficiaries while reducing its carbon footprint in line with SDG expectations.
From an ESG compliance perspective, Brambles Limited excels in two unique metrics.
- The ratio of the chief executive officer’s (CEO’s) compensation to the workers’ wage,
- Pension fund and employee retirement planning quality.
Furthermore, with 40% non-male board directors and an “A” rating, this company in Sydney, Australia, has pioneered the sharing economy approach for the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry. Simultaneously, retail, beverage, and general manufacturing corporations collaborate with Brambles Limited to deliver life essentials worldwide.
3| Vestas Wind Systems
According to International Energy Agency (IEA), accomplishing the wind electricity objectives for 2020-30 calls for an annual capacity increase of up to 18%. While China led the wind power landscape with its 70% growth contribution in 2021, followed by the US, more efforts are necessary to meet the 2030 target of 7900 TWh (Terawatt-hour).
So, Vestas Wind Systems, graded “A” and situated in Aarhus, Denmark, offers onshore and offshore wind turbine support. It has a 0% worker fatality rate, highlighting its top-notch workplace hazards prevention and employee protection standards.
Today, Vestas Wind Systems provides three renewable energy platforms: EnVentus, 4MW, and 2MW.
Additionally, the company guides wind farm developers in strategic site selection, plant operations, and turbine maintenance. Investors preferring renewable energy assets must explore the wealth-generating opportunities in such enterprises.
4| Brookfield Renewable Partners LP
Solar and wind energy projects are the primary focus of Brookfield Renewable Partners LP. This company also engages in hydroelectric power and offers distributed energy services. ESG funds and responsible investors can evaluate the related financial products to contribute to a better future.
Its Canadian identity is Brookfield Renewable Corporation. Both registered entities exhibit identical class A share distribution. Their net-zero commitment document promises consistency with the Paris Agreement.
Also, their necessary disclosures follow the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions protocol. Brookfield boasts compliance with Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations. It has a favourable work environment policy and a modernised salary structure on the social side. All these factors qualify it to be on this list of the top sustainable companies for 2023.
5| Autodesk Inc.
Based in San Francisco, US, Autodesk develops industry-leading building information management (BIM) software. Its applications increase precision in construction, mechanical works, transportation planning, and electricity grid projects. Therefore, engineers and architects can optimise structures according to green building certification and material efficiency considerations.
Autodesk addresses responsible resource consumption needs for a sustainable world. It complies with tax regulations in several geopolitical regions. Similarly, its efforts toward increasing racial diversity across its workforce and women’s participation in leadership positions make it one of the recognised sustainable companies.
Through its science-based target initiatives (SBTis), Autodesk decides an internal price for scope 1, 2, & 3 carbon emissions. Later, the money goes to a carbon fund. It has also achieved cloud-first workforce migration and used 100% renewable energy to sustain its “work from home” employees’ online activities.
Investors and authorities must investigate whether empowering Autodesk Inc. will yield positive financial and social results if they want to encourage green building projects.
6| Evoqua Water Technologies Corp
Drinkable and usable water resources are plentiful in only some parts of the world. The densely-populated and industrialised urban areas might experience water deficiency less often. However, a significant portion of the Earth’s population suffers from a yearlong water shortage crisis.
Evoqua Water Technologies Corporation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US, has stated it will reuse more water than it draws from the natural reservoirs. This organisation supplies water and water treatment solutions to residential, commercial, and industrial zones in several countries.
Its water quality improvement products include aerobic, anaerobic, disinfecting, electrochemical, and other filtration technologies. Like Autodesk Inc., Evoqua leverages STBi methods to curb scope 1 to 3 emissions. As a leading sustainable company, it has transformed its operations to comply with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5-degree Celsius pathway.
7| Schneider Electric SE
With its head office in Rueil-Malmaison, France, Schneider Electric SE embraces a “meaningful purpose, inclusive and empowered” value system. It wants to help clients connect residential buildings, offices, data centres, and urban infrastructure to make electricity distribution more eco-friendly.
Accordingly, Schneider Electric has an interconnectivity platform EcoStruxure. It claims to have reduced its carbon footprint by 50% while reinforcing cybersecurity for cloud-connected experiences. The company serves the retail, marine, networking, food, automobile, and real estate industries.
It ranks in the best sustainable companies’ databases due to its energy, carbon, and waste productivity achievements. It has an “A-” rating, 68% ESG-compliant investments, and 50% non-male board members. If you want to support diverse and resource-efficient brands, you can consider Schneider Electric.
8| Stantec Inc.
Stantec fulfils the constriction, environmental sciences, and related industries’ design consulting needs. Its sustainability engineering and architecture guidance helps town planners, contractors, municipalities, and global firms prepare for changing infrastructure needs of a growing population.
The carbon disclosure project (CDP) assigned Stantec Inc an “A minus” grade. It has an AA rating in Morgan Stanley Capital International, or MSCI, ESG ratings. This brand utilises a unified approach because it operated through 30 companies before consolidation. Stantec has evolved after multiple strategic mergers and acquisition deals.
It is attractive to investors as an environmentally, financially, and socially responsible enterprise. Its first-quarter earnings in 2023 had the following sources.
- 28% of revenue came from infrastructure projects.
- Stantec’s 20% income is from water resource planning.
- Another 20% of earnings were related to environmental engineering works.
- Besides, 19% of income was attributed to building and property development.
- 13% of its revenue involved energy sector clients.
You have learned about the 8 most impactful sustainable companies with excellent compliance ratings concerning the SDG and ESG metrics. These organisations surpass their competitors through technological and policy-led business model revisions.
Each company in this listicle has an established track record of working toward accomplishing water security, inclusivity, bribe prevention, and climate risk reduction objectives. Investors, regulators, consumers, and socially conscious job seekers can learn about their STBi projects from their official websites and spokespersons.
However, the stakeholders must watch out for the greenwashing risks. By collaborating with independent ESG auditing and reporting providers, they can verify the legitimacy of corporate green claims.
Simultaneously, they can conduct industry peer analysis, schedule periodic compliance assessments, and track several financial disclosure frameworks. These facilities ensure that only authentic businesses get the investors’ capital and consumers’ trust.