TORONTO — Discovering how “good” bacteria reduces waste, including food waste, played a factor as Chr. Hansen was named the world’s most sustainable company in Corporate Knights’ Global 100 rankings. Toronto-based Corporate Knights, a media and invest research firm, released the 15th annual rankings Jan. 22.

Corporate Knights recognized Chr. Hansen for an approach to sustainability based on how it contributes to the United Nations’ Sustainability Development Goals (S.D.G.s). Eighty-two per cent of Chr. Hansen’s revenue contributes to the targets. Chr. Hansen scored 100% on the “clean revenue” indicator, which reflects that the company’s products have clear environmental and certain social benefits.

“We are extremely proud and humble to receive this amazing honor,” said Mauricio Graber, chief executive officer of Chr. Hansen. “I believe that one of the reasons why Chr. Hansen has been ranked as No. 1 is because the world is beginning to understand the power of good bacteria and the impact it can have on some of the major challenges the world is facing, such as food waste, antibiotic overuse and the need for a more sustainable agricultural sector to feed a growing world population while preserving our planet for future generations.”

Chr. Hansen, based in Denmark, develops and produces cultures, enzymes, probiotics and naturally sourced colors. The company is seeking to reduce yogurt waste by 1.2 million tonnes from 2015 to 2022. The company also is finding ways in which probiotic bacteria may reduce the overuse of antibiotics in livestock farming. Corporate Knights noted the number of women in executive positions for Chr. Hansen and on its board. Dominique Reiniche recently became chairman of the board.

Corporate Knights identifies all publicly listed companies who had at least $1 billion in revenues in the last fiscal year. To select the top 100, Corporate Knights scores companies on a mix and weighting of up to 21 performance metrics covering resource management, employee management, clean revenue and supplier performance.

McCormick & Co., Hunt Valley, Md., came in 13th in the 2019 rankings, or 10 spots higher than in 2018. McCormick & Co. is working on sourcing ingredients sustainably, improving the resilience and mapping the contributions of small holder farmers, and reducing the company’s environmental impact by lowering its carbon footprint and reducing solid waste.

“This is the highest ranking we have achieved since our debut on the list in 2017, and I’m proud of this recognition of McCormick’s continued commitment to global sustainability and transparency,” said Lawrence Kurzius, chairman, president and c.e.o. of McCormick & Co.

Other food-related companies in the top 100 were AAK, a fats and oils company based in Sweden, at No. 75; Campbell Soup Co., Camden, N.J., at No. 85; and Kesko, a retail chain based in Finland that has about 1,800 stores, at No. 88. Campbell Soup follows a “Real Food” policy that includes using recognizable, desirable ingredients from plants or animals and using ethical sourcing and sustainable practices that safeguard natural resources.

“We are proud to be recognized by Corporate Knights for these commitments as one of the most sustainable corporations in the world,” said Dave Stangis, vice-president of corporate responsibility and chief sustainability officer for Campbell Soup.

Corporate Knights’ Global 100 rankings may be found here.