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World’s Greenest Company

Updated: Feb 9, 2023

It comes from one of the ‘dirtiest sectors’ in this surprise ranking.

Each year, Canadian research firm Corporate Knights creates the Global 100, an index of what it deems to be the world's 100 greenest firms. It aims to spotlight the corporations that do the most good for people and planet, "driving the transition to a low-carbon, circular economy".

In the latest rankings, published this week, wind turbine maker Vestas Wind has been knocked off the top spot. Schnitzer Steel Industries, a US scrap steel recycler, now bears the crown.

Steel furnace

"If one of the world's dirtiest sectors can produce the most sustainable company in the world, then there is no excuse for any company in any sector not to step up," says Corporate Knights CEO Toby Heaps.

Nearly 7,000 corporations with revenue over $1 billion are assessed for the annual report. Companies are assessed on 25 indicators including taxes paid, sustainable revenue and investment, carbon productivity, and racial and gender diversity. The ratio of CEO to average worker pay is additionally taken into account.

The companies must also have sustainable solutions at the heart of their business models and invest to reduce their carbon footprint.

Schnitzer Steel salvages scrap metals from vehicles, home appliances, rail cars, industrial machinery, manufacturing scrap and construction and demolition materials. These are recycled into auto parts, reinforcing steel and wire rod used in construction.

The firm topped the Global 100 thanks to vast improvements made in its energy, carbon, water and waste 'productivity', meaning it used these resources more efficiently when measured against revenue.

The company increased its energy productivity by 74 percent, water productivity by 69 percent and carbon productivity by 55 percent in 2021. It also reported 100 percent of its $2.8 billion revenues and all of its investment went to sustainable projects in 2021.



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