Why Sustainability rankings don’t matter (yet)!

As an investor, a business owner, and a consumer, I recently decided that I wanted to fully support businesses embracing sustainability. I didn’t know how best to go about this, so I decided to find out who the ‘100 most sustainable companies’ are.

I was intrigued and overwhelmed by the number of lists out there, as well as the different approaches, evaluation criteria, and definitions for determining what a “sustainable company” is. Companies at the top of one list were not even in the top 20 on others. This got me wondering – “How can one make sense of this all?”

Therefore, I chose to narrow my search and decided on three different lists that seemed to cover the main tenets of sustainability: financial, social, and environmental performance. I also wanted to make sure that the three different perspectives I was bringing to this inquiry; that of investor, business owner, and consumer would all be taken into account. I decided to use the Global 100 list of The Most Sustainable Companies, Fortune’s Best Companies to Work For and Fortune’s Most Admired Companies in the World. All from 2005. I didn’t know what I would find, but I was sure that there had to be some direct correlation that would help me choose the most sustainable companies with which to conduct my business.

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