BMW the most sustainable corporation in the world, according to Corporate Knights


German automobile giant BMW has topped the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations index, unveiled by Corporate Knights in Davos, Switzerland.

The index was launched during the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, where global business and policy leaders gathered to discuss financial and social challenges facing the global economy.

BMW won the top spot thanks to a strong performance in areas such as energy and resource efficiency, as well as waste minimisation.

It also won praise for its transparent approach to paying taxes, its high investment in innovation, low employee turnover, and a small disparity between the pay of top management and average workers.

To put the list together, Canadian market research company Corporate Knights has to evaluate the sustainability activities of companies around the world on a regular basis. A total of 4,353 companies worldwide with a market capitalisation of more than two billion US dollars were considered in the 2016 ranking.

The index ranking showcases the top corporations that are leading on matters of sustainability, something that has become an important priority among government and business leaders in recent years.

The subject of the role business plays in climate change is something that has been of increasing public awareness since the United Nations climate change summit in Paris last month. The conference saw businesses and leaders from across the globe pledge an unprecedented number of commitments ranging from moves by institutional investors to rid their portfolios of fossil fuels to promises by companies to integrate carbon pricing into operations.

The aim of the Global 100 is to raise awareness and annually showcase world leaders in corporate sustainability, including those that have been able to balance environmental performance, social performance and economic performance while delivering superior returns to investors.

Corporate Knights considers a large number of sustainability indicators in its rating, including production resource efficiency, occupational safety and investment in research and development.

The 100 most successful companies were then listed in the so-called “2016 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World (Global 100)” ranking. The BMW Group received the highest score among all the companies evaluated, securing first place.

In a statement, Harald Krüger, chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG said:

“Sustainability is part of our identity. We have accomplished a great deal and set ourselves further goals for the future. Of course, winning ratings and rankings is not our main priority – but it shows that our activities continue to have an impact and that we are on the right track.”

Corporate knights found that the BMW Group adopts an holistic approach, implementing sustainability throughout the value chain. In addition to reducing CO2 emissions, its strategy also focuses on continuous improvement in areas such as corporate environmental protection, supply chain sustainability, employee orientation and social commitment.

One particularly encouraging finding from this year’s ranking was that 87 out of the 100 firms in the index provide a monetary bonus to executives if they achieve their sustainability targets, said Corporate Knights.

The top 10 in the global rankings are as follows:

Rank (2016) Company name Short company name GICS Industry Country of Domicile
1 Bayerische Motoren Werke AG BMW Automobiles Germany
2 Dassault Systemes Dassault Systemes Software France
3 Outotec OYJ Outotec Construction & Engineering Finland
4 Commonwealth Bank of Australia Commonwealth Bank of Australia Banks Australia
5 Adidas AG adidas Textiles, Apparel & Luxury Goods Germany
6 Enagas SA Enagas Gas Utilities Spain
7 Danske Bank A/S Danske Bank Banks Denmark
8 StarHub Ltd StarHub Wireless Telecommunication Services Singapore
9 Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC Reckitt Benckiser Group Household Products United Kingdom
10 City Developments Ltd City Developments Real Estate Management & Development Singapore

For full rankings please visit:


Photo Credit: Julian Schroeder on Flickr.