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Australian Corporations Rise in Global Sustainability Ranking


27 January 2016 at 8:21 pm
Ellie Cooper
Five Australian companies have been ranked in the top 100 most sustainable businesses in the world, including the big four banks. The Commonwealth Bank secured the number four position in the 2016 Global 100 index,

Ellie Cooper | 27 January 2016 at 8:21 pm


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Australian Corporations Rise in Global Sustainability Ranking
27 January 2016 at 8:21 pm

Five Australian companies have been ranked in the top 100 most sustainable businesses in the world, including the big four banks.

The Commonwealth Bank secured the number four position in the 2016 Global 100 index, making it the highest Australian corporation and the number one bank globally.

The bank rose through the ranks from the position of 21 last year, when no Australian businesses made it into the top 20.

Westpac also increased its position this year, ranking 33 on the list, up from 41. ANZ came in at 67, up from 78 in 2015, and NAB at 73, up from 79.

Insurance Australia Group was added to the list this year, rounding out Australia’s representation in the index at 74.

The 2016 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World rankings were revealed at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, by Canadian-based research firm Corporate Knights.

Companies that made the annual index, which began in 2005, were selected from more than 4,000 listed companies with a market capitalisation of more than US$2 billion (A$2.9 billion).

Corporate Knights said that one of the “encouraging” findings this year was was the link between pay and performance, with 87 per cent of G100 firms providing monetary bonuses to executives who achieved sustainability targets.

The index was determined using 12 sustainable business factors, including how organisations balance environmental, social, and governance performance while delivering returns to investors.

General Manager of Corporate Responsibility at Commonwealth Bank, Kylie Macfarlane, said the diverse scorecard approach to sustainable practices was valuable in ensuring all elements of business operations were considered.

“This includes everything from our achievement of 35 per cent women in senior management ranks to a new target to have 40 per cent by 2020, to reducing our energy consumption, as well as ensuring that we have industry-leading and transparent reporting around a range of indicators such as tax paid, superannuation fund status and carbon emissions,” Macfarlane said.

“Our corporate responsibility strategy guides us in achieving our vision to excel at securing and enhancing the financial wellbeing of people, businesses and communities and we are delighted that the 2016 Global 100 is recognising our performance.”

In the country breakdown Australia tied with Finland for fifth position, each with five companies in the top 100. The US ranked number one with 19 companies, followed by France, Canada and the UK.

Germany’s luxury car brand, BMW, was ranked number one, out-performing other corporations in its responsible approach to paying taxes, large innovation investments, low employee turnover and low CEO to average worker pay ratio.


Ellie Cooper  |  Journalist  |  @ProBonoNews

Ellie Cooper is a journalist covering the social sector.

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