Merck Tops List of 1K Most Sustainable Companies

Merck Tops List of 1K Most Sustainable Companies

Image courtesy of Merck

CRD Analytics, a provider of sustainability investment analytics whose methodology forms the basis of the NASDAQ OMX CRD Global Sustainability 50 Index, has published its list of the Global 1000 Sustainable Performance Leaders.

Companies included on the list must be publicly traded on a major global exchange, have a market capitalization of at least $1 billion, and publish a sustainability or corporate responsibility (CSR) report. Companies meeting the criteria for inclusion are ranked according to financial, environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) key performance indicators (KPIs).

CRD Analytics incorporates the G3 Guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) into its analysis. Earlier this year, it also partnered with Trucost, to more effectively measure the environmental impact on the financial performance of companies.

The 2010 rankings update those published by CRD Analytics in 2008. In 2010, Merck is ranked first among the 1,000 companies, up from fourth in 2008. Merck also achieved the highest ESG ranking in a year in which it acquired Schering-Plough. The merger resulted in the layoff of 16,000 workers, while Fred Hassan, the CEO of Schering-Plough at the time, earned nearly $50 million.

Rounding off the top five sustainable companies are IBM, Novartis, Baxter International, and Credit Suisse. Novartis ranked first in 2008. Ranking companies in the high-emitting industry sectors include Newmont Mining, ranked 15th, Enbridge, ranked 29th, and Iberdrola Renovables, ranked 30th.

In its explanation of its methodology, CRD Analytics announced that it "reserves the right to remove any companies that are involved in a significant public crisis without notice." It will be interesting to learn if the policy affects the high ranking of HP, which finished seventh.

In its recent 10-Q statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), HP acknowledged that the U.S. Justice Department and the SEC are investigating allegations of bribery in Russia, which may violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

This article originally appeared at SocialFunds.com and is reprinted with permission.

Image courtesy of Merck.