Ørsted tops global sustainability ranking

Ørsted has been named the world’s most sustainable company, with an increased share of revenue derived from clean energy boosting its position in an annual ranking of billion-dollar firms.

Ørsted is currently developing Hornsea One (above), which will be the world's largest offshore wind farm upon completion

The wind power developer finished ahead of 7,394 global companies with more than $1 billion in revenue, in a list compiled by Canadian publishing and research firm Corporate Knights.

Other wind power developers and turbine manufacturers, including Enel (tied eighth), Iberdrola (17th), Vestas (37th) and Acciona (70th), also made the top 100 of the annual sustainability ranking, which is released every January at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Ørsted had previously been placed 7th in 2018, 4th in 2019.

Corporate Knights explained that Ørsted rose through the rankings primarily because it increased the share of its revenue earned from renewable energy by nearly ten percentage points year on year to 68.1%.

It also performed well on indicators such as the rate of taxes paid and board gender diversity

The Danish company has reduced carbon emissions from its energy generation and operations by 83% from 2006 levels. It aims for a 98% reduction by 2025.

Corporate Knights said 37% of the revenues of companies in the 2020 ranking are derived from clean sources, compared to 26% last year.

It added the consensus that “environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues were irrelevant to financial performance” is “starting to crumble”, with investors increasingly assertive on issues such as the climate crisis, water shortages, health and safety in the supply chain, modern slavery and corruption.

The researchers’ annual ranking is calculated based on 21 key performance indicators covering resource management, employee management, financial management, clean revenue and supplier performance, it explained.