Is now the time to go green?
by Andy Jones — Clean 200 has released the rankings of the top 200 sustainable companies in the world.
Omitting the likes of oil lobbying companies, forced labour workforces, and those that profit from deforestation, the inaugural organisation ranked the top 200 companies with a market capitalisation over $1 billion and that generated at least 10 per cent of their revenues from clean sources.
The rankings were organised to serve as a comparison against Carbon Underground 200, which is a rank of the top fossil fuel companies being targeted for divestment.
Aside from highlighting sustainable businesses, Clean 200 was also able to show that the companies achieved a stimulated annualised return of 21.82 per cent for every $1 invested over the past decade.
This represents three times the 7.84 per cent return by companies found in the Carbon Underground 200 rankings.
So is now the time to go green?
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone to learn that over the next 20 years, businesses both large and small are going to have to adapt to sustainable low carbon business models.
And companies that have already adapted to these measures are experiencing the benefits. It was shown in October of last year by the CommitForum that businesses with sustainable ethics can be worth up to 11 per cent more than those without.
Furthermore, those with poor environmental track records can actually suffer, as was seen with Volkswagen, which had $28 billion wiped off its market value after it was revealed that it improperly installed ECUs to act as “defeat devices” to circumnavigate engine emissions in diesel vehicles.
For businesses looking for significant growth over the next few years, it’s also worth knowing that sustainable companies also attract top talent.
There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that job seekers are more attracted to organisations with stronger sustainable policies — especially amongst younger people.
Not only do new employees find a sense of pride from sustainable companies, but it implies that the business cares for its employees, creating a shared connection between employer and employee.
And the government is here to help.
For businesses looking to push into sustainability, reliefs and exemptions are available. For example, if your company is small and doesn’t use a lot of energy, or you buy energy efficient technology, you could look to save large amounts of cash.
A businesses can also pay less tax by applying for schemes to help demonstrate that it is operating more efficiently and producing less damaging waste. This is known as claiming capital allowance, which can be claimed on a tax return.
Even by taking small measures, such as recycling, businesses and small offices can alleviate overheads and unnecessary expenses such as the Landfill Tax.
Andy Jones is the editor of Commercial Waste Magazine, a website dedicated to providing the latest waste and recycling news alongside renewable energies, sustainability and climate change.