Adidas and Marks & Spencer ranked among the top 20 most sustainable retailers in the world in Toronto-based media and investment advisory company Corporate Knights’ 2015 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World index.
Companies are scored against their global industry peers on twelve key performance indicators from energy and water use to employee compensation and corporate tax strategy.
German sportswear brand Adidas ranked No. 3 on the Global 100 index with an overall score of 72.6%. In 2014, the company altered the way it develop products by concentrating on waste-reduction while sustaining performance and style. Adidas collaborated with Greenpeace’s Detox campaign last year, revealing its plan to eliminate per- and polyfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) and set milestones to achieve full supply chain transparency. The company promised to have 99 percent of its products PFC-free by 2017 and 100 percent free by 2020.
Marks & Spencer Group of the U.K. holds its own as No. 16 on the Global 100 index, finishing at an overall score of 66.6%. The retailer revealed its plan last year to make its “Plan A” sustainability platform stronger, revising the 2020 initiative to improve the company’s sustainable practices across its supply chain. The company added a commitment to publish an annual list of its active clothing manufacturers by 2016 to generate supply chain transparency. In its Plan A 2020 half-year update, the company noted that 28 percent of M&S cotton, or 50 million products sold annually, is now grown to meet Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) standards.
Since conception in February 2005, the Global 100 index has delivered a total return of 90.76 percent, compared to 96.98 percent for its benchmark, the MSCI All Country World Index. This has been the first year that the Global 100 has landed below its benchmark, which Corporate Knights explains is due heavily to the rising U.S. dollar, as 81 percent of Global 100 components trade in non-U.S. denominated currencies.