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50 UK companies feature in Sustainably Yearbook for investors



Fifty UK based companies have been named in RobecoSAM’s 2015 Sustainability Yearbook, which has been described as a “compass” for responsible investors, with seven of the businesses being awarded ‘gold class’ medals. 

The UK has seen 50 of its companies being included in a Sustainability Yearbook with seven – Reckitt Benckiser, CNH Industrial, Anglo American, United Utilities, AMEC, British American Tobacco and Royal Mail– being awarded gold medals, the highest figure in Europe. As a region, there are 211 companies included in the Yearbook from Europe, with 33 being gold medal companies.

In total RobecoSAM awarded 69 gold class medals and include 457 companies in the Yearbook.

The Sustainability Yearbook looks back at companies’ sustainability performance, across a range of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors, in 2014 and includes the best 15% per industry, ranking them gold, silver or bronze. RobecoSAM has been assessing the sustainability performance of the largest listed companies on a yearly basis since 1999.

Daniel Wild, head of sustainability investing research and development, member of the RobeccoSAM executive committee, commented, “RobecoSAM’s annual corporate sustainability assessment (CSA) focuses on examining financially material factors that impact a company’s core business value drivers.

“Factors such as a company’s tax strategy, ability to innovate, attract and retain talent or increase resource efficiency matter from an investor’s point of view because they impact a company’s competitive position and long-term financial performance. New aspects arise each day; this is why we constantly develop the CSA further.”

Overall North America is the region with the best corporate governance performance but Europe has the highest participation rate, suggesting there is a desire to improve sustainability amongst European companies. Additionally, the CSA found that companies improved how they address sustainability issues by 0.4% on last year’s results, suggesting it is moving up the agenda.

Michael Baldinger, CEO of RobecoSAM, said, “The Sustainability Yearbook is a compass for investors looking for companies across all industries with a competitive edge – based on corporate sustainability criteria.

“This year’s edition of the Yearbook is the culmination of two decades’ worth of rigorous investment research, focus and dedication.”

Photo: sqback via Freeimages 

Further reading:

Metric launched to help investors compare sustainability of firms

Dow Jones launches ‘first’ sustainability index for emerging markets

Swiss pension fund members back sustainable investment strategies

Sustainability yearbook highlights responsible investment opportunities

Books & Films

Book Review: Ubernomics




Step inside the next generation of economics, business strategy and investing.

In this radical business book, Barbara Gray makes it clear that all is not as it seems. Just when we think we know the rules of the road, we find we have hit the age of economic abundance—and surprises await.

Gray navigates us through this journey with great insight and acuity, sharing stories and case studies about a new breed of “rebel with a cause” companies such as Starbucks, LinkedIn, Airbnb, and Uber, whose founders relish disruption of the status quo. Taking us through the highlights of her research, Gray reveals her discovery of the next generation of business strategy for companies looking to create economic abundance and rise above the competition.

Barbara Gray is a former top-ranked sell-side equity analyst and the founder of Brady Capital Research Inc., a leading-edge research and strategy consulting firm. She has more than fifteen years of sell-side equity research experience in Canada and the United States covering a wide range of sectors. Barbara has a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) from the University of British Columbia (1993) and earned her Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 1997. She lives in Vancouver, Canada with her husband and two sons.


Ubernomics is über-needed by any organization that wants to be around in the next five years. Read it and you’ll be here for fifty–and more! Barbara Gray is half brilliant analyst and half seer. The result is a book that is both crystal clear and a crystal ball.”
–Joey Reiman, Chairman, BrightHouse and Managing Director, The Boston Consulting Group

“Barbara is one of the most astute and forward-looking analysts who covered lululemon. Ubernomics gave me a framework to think about the sharing economy capital structure and the value that can be gained from that.”
–Christine Day, CEO, Luvo (former CEO, lululemon)

“Barbara’s overall analysis centering on the three new values of advocacy, connection and collaboration is very powerful. And the examples, both of firms born in the new economy and others trying to adapt to it, are fascinating.”
–Jean-Claude Larreche, Professor of Marketing, INSEAD, and author of The Momentum Effect


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Books & Films

Book Review: Business as an Instrument for Societal Change




Business as an Instrument for Societal Change: In Conversation with the Dalai Lama is the result of two decades of research and dialogue with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and other leaders in business, government, science and education. Author Sander Tideman, a lawyer and banker who has maintained a friendship with the Dalai Lama over all these years, presents a practical framework and methodology to develop a new kind of leadership – one fit to repurpose the business world and tackle escalating social, economic and environmental needs.

The Dalai Lama rarely speaks directly on the topics of business, leadership and economics. Yet in the dialogues recounted here, his wisdom – combined with key insights from business and public leaders – creates a unified shift towards a consciousness of interconnectedness, offering profound insights for practitioners and general readers alike.

Tideman unites the scientific worldviews of physics, neuroscience and economics with the positive psychology of human relationships, and ancient spiritual wisdom, to formulate practical business leadership solutions. At the heart of this book lies the journey to discover our shared purpose. This ignites new sources of value creation for the organisation, customers and society, which Tideman terms ‘triple value’.  We can achieve triple value by aligning societal and business needs, based on the fundamental reality of interconnection.

Business as an Instrument for Societal Change: In Conversation with the Dalai Lama is a readable and intelligent exploration of how leaders can actually help to shape a sustainable global economy by embracing innate human and humane behaviour. It is also Tideman’s fascinating personal journey, which brought him to question the underlying motivations and goals of business leadership and to seek a new paradigm for a more sustainable approach. Reflecting Tideman’s sharp perceptions and infused with the Dalai Lama’s unmistakable joy, this book has the power to change your way of thinking.


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