TORONTO — Chr. Hansen improved its overall score in the Global 100 ranking of corporations based on their sustainability efforts, but in 2020 the company slipped to No. 2 from No. 1 in 2019 in the rankings put together by Corporate Knights, a Toronto-based media and investment research firm.
“We are honored and proud that our efforts to work for a better world together with our customers are noticed and valued,” said Mauricio Graber, chief executive officer of Chr. Hansen, Hoersholm, Denmark. “We improved our total score against Corporate Knights’ indicators, and although it was not enough for a first place this time, we are still ranked as the No. 1 most sustainable food ingredient company. This reinforces our unwavering commitment to the Power of Good Bacteria and a future defined by natural ingredients.”
Chr. Hansen’s score improved to 83.9% from 82.99%. Ørsted A/S, also based in Denmark, jumped to No. 1 in 2020 from No. 4 in 2019 as its overall score improved to 85.2% from 80.13%. Over the past 10 years Ørsted has transformed from a company with fossil fuels at the core of its business to a pure-play renewable energy company, according to Corporate Knights.
Corporate Knights considers publicly listed companies with gross annual revenue of at least $1 billion when creating the Global 100. Methodology is based on 21 performance indicators covering resource management, employee management, financial management, “clean” revenue and supplier performance.
Three of the top 10 companies were based in Denmark. Novozymes A/S jumped to No. 6 in the rankings this year from No. 58 last year. Among companies involved in food, McCormick & Co. ranked No. 22, Unilever P.L.C. was No. 46, Vitasoy International Holdings Ltd. came in at No. 90, and Campbell Soup Co. was No. 93.
Chr. Hansen scored high marks in “clean” revenue, which Corporate Knights defines as the percentage of a company’s total revenue derived from products and services that are categorized as “clean” according to Corporate Knights open-source clean revenue taxonomy. Chr. Hansen has documented that 82% of its revenue directly supports the United Nations’ global goals. Chr. Hansen also scored high marks in environmental performance and diversity, which looks at issues like percentage of female directors.
Through an agreement with Better Energy, a business based in Denmark that advances renewable energy, Chr. Hansen expects to switch 100% to green electricity from two new solar parks, wind energy and biogas for its Danish operations by April.
“The time is now for individuals, corporations, and governments to work together and take action,” Mr. Graber said. “At Chr. Hansen we are determined to keep pioneering science and innovate to enable a resilient food system from farm to fork, fighting food waste and the overuse of antibiotics and chemical pesticides.”
McCormick & Co., Hunt Valley, Md., slipped to No. 22 from No. 13 in the rankings. Its overall score dipped to 75.96% in 2020 from 76.2% in 2019.
“I’m proud to be honored for the fourth year in a row on the prestigious Global 100 index,” said Lawrence E. Kurzius, president and c.e.o. of McCormick & Co. “At McCormick, sustainability and transparency remain a chief priority, and we continue to embed it through our global business. While we’ve made significant progress to date on many of our sustainability goals, we know that our journey is never complete.”
Unilever, London, rose to No. 46 from No. 65 as its overall score increased to 69.16% from 61.89%.
Hong Kong-based Vitasoy International Holdings, which is involved in food and beverage production, was not among the top 100 companies last year but ranked No. 90 this year with an overall score of 52.69%.
Campbell Soup Co., Camden, N.J., dropped to No. 93 from No. 85 as its overall score slipped to 51.43% from 54.07%. Campbell Soup in 2020 received high marks in clean revenue and its variety of products that are organic and Non-GMO Project verified. Corporate Knights recognized Campbell Soup for females accounting for 33% of the directors on its board.
“Campbell is honored to once again be recognized by Corporate Knights as one of the world’s most sustainable corporations,” said Roma McCaig, vice-president, corporate responsibility and sustainability for Campbell Soup. “This recognition is a testament to our employees who bring our purpose to life every day by driving Campbell’s corporate responsibility and sustainability programs.”