50 UK companies feature in Sustainably Yearbook for investors

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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