Tata Steel, HDFC among most sustainable cos

Written by Press Trust of India | New York | Updated: Jan 30 2010, 04:22am hrs
Two Indian firmsTata Steel and HDFChave made it to a list of the worlds most sustainable companies by media firm Corporate Knights.

Ratan Tatas Tata Steel has been ranked on the 90th spot, while mortgage lender HDFC cornered the 92nd position in the worlds 100 most sustainable companies list, the Forbes magazine said attributing to the Toronto-based media company that compiled the list. To be considered sustainable, companies must squeeze four times more wealth out of every resource they use, Corporate Knight editor-in-chief Toby Heaps said.

US-based General Electric has topped the list, followed by San Francisco-based utility company Pacific Gas and Electric Corp. Mail delivery firm Tnt Nv of the Netherlands and Swedish clothing company H&M Hennes & Mauritiz have been ranked on the third and the fourth place, respectively.

Among others on the top 10 list includes-Finnish handset maker Nokia (5th), Siemens Ag of Germany (6th), UKs Unilever (7th), Vodafone (8th), UK-based capital goods firm Smith Group (9th) and Swiss company Geberit (10th).

Mining giant Rio Tinto and Internet search engine Google did not figure on the list. Google was shut out of the top 100 because of privacy concerns and issues related to its China operations, Heaps said. The research was based on 10 environmental, social and governance performance metrics, including energy productivity, waste productivity, CEO-to-average-worker pay ratio and transparency.

Corporate Knights relied on the companies to give it accurate data. When a company wouldnt provide information for one of the 10 metrics, Corporate Knights assigned it a null score for that category and then penalised it with an unfavourable transparency score, the Forbes said. While the list has the most number of firms from the UK at 21, America is at the second spot with 12 companies followed by Australia and Canada with nine each.

Food and beverages firm Diageo, Japanese auto maker Toyota Motor, British insurer Prudential, South Korean Posco, Americas Coca Cola, chip maker Intel are the other firms to figure in the sustainable companies list. Heaps said in the overall list he found a European bias, which he credits to Europe having a developed society on limited land, which has forced European companies to learn to be efficient with their resources.

Moreover, he said the Europeans also perform well in the category of CEO-to-average-worker pay, because they dont give out huge stock bonuses.