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Corporate Knights -Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations list unveiled in Davos

Wednesday, January 28th 2009 10:39:05am

Media Release

Corporate Knights -Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations list unveiled in Davos

(DAVOS, Switzerland, January 28, 2009) Corporate Knights Inc. and Innovest Strategic Value Advisors today announced the fifth annual Global 100 list of the most sustainable large corporations in the world. The Global 100 includes companies from 15 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 States led the way with 20 Global 100 companies (four more than in 2008). The United Kingdom followed with 19 (down from 24 in 2008) and Japan improved by two on its 2008 tally with a total of 15 companies qualifying in 2009. Rounding out the top five countries with the most constituents were France (eight) and Germany (seven), while Canada, Finland, and Sweden each registered five Global 100 constituents. Two-thirds (65/100) of the 2008 companies remained on the list in 2009.

As the Global 100 companies are meant to isolate those firms best equipped to thrive in the long-term because of their holistic approach to managing stakeholder relationships, this year for the first time, The Global 100 traced back all 100 constituents to their year of origin to see what kind of longevity they had demonstrated to date. The average age of the 2009 Global 100 company was 102 years old, ranging from Stora Enso OYJ (1122 AD) to Telus Corporation (1999 AD). In all, 46 of the 2009 Global 100 companies have been in existence for at least 100 years.

Toby Heaps, Editor of Corporate Knights magazine, says, “While markets go up and down, companies like the Global 100 members that prudently take care of the interests of all their stakeholders, offer the best bet for society and investors in the long-term.”

From its inception in February 2005, the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations has outperformed its benchmark (the MSCI World Index) by 480 basis points per annum to end of year 2008.

Matthew Kiernan, CEO of Innovest, a New York-based investment advisory firm, whose analysis underpins the list, notes: “The continuing out-performance of the Global 100, even in the midst of the current global financial crisis, provides eloquent testimony–and yet more evidence–for investors, company executives, governments, and civil society alike: superior positioning and performance on environmental, social, and governance issues does provide a valuable leading indicator of better-managed, more agile, ‘future-proof’ companies. And we expect this ‘sustainability premium’ to become even larger in the coming years.”

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 question of what will be the next motor to power the global economy, and how investors and policy makers can best rev it up. The dinner featured remarks from billionaire investor George Soros, Chairman of Soros Fund Management, Lord Nicholas Stern, and Nobel laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz.


For media queries, contact:

Toby Heaps Editor-in-Chief, Corporate Knights via Melissa Shin at + 1-416-203-4674x3 (or temporary mobile in Davos: ++41 7878 42445) Email: toby (at) corporateknights.ca

Matthew Kiernan Chief Executive, Innovest, Toronto + 416-399-2861
Email: mkiernan (at) innovestgroup.com

Charts-Tables and background information are available by clicking on Download Original Release.

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), and powered by research from Innovest Strategic Value Advisor Inc (www.innovestgroup.com). Launched in 2005, the annual Global 100 is announced each year at the World Economic Forum in Davos.