For the top investment companies 2015 year, Maclean’s has partnered with Sustainalytics, the leading independent provider of environmental, social and governance research, to determine the Top 50 Most Socially Responsible Companies in Canada. This year, for the first time, Sustainalytics ranked the companies within their industry to determine which firms are leading the way.
All the firms were selected based on their performance across a broad range of environmental, social and governance indicators tracked by Sustainalytics. Each of the companies is either Canadian or a wholly owned subsidiary of a foreign-listed company with significant operations or brand presence in Canada. The multinational food and beverage company has made tackling global water scarcity a focus of its business. The company’s Colombian manufacturing plants, for example, recycle 75 per cent of the water used, and its Gatorade bottles are purified with air instead of water.
The company is also forging partnerships with NGOs to deliver clean water to communities in need. In 2007, it set a goal of providing three million people around the world with safe water by 2015. It met its target three years ahead of schedule. The company has teamed up with six organizations to help deal with the global water crisis: the Columbia Water Center at the Columbia University Earth Institute, the Inter-American Development Bank, Water. In Canada, the company has focused its environmental sustainability efforts on water, energy and packaging. It reduced water usage by 40 per cent at manufacturing plants.
It was also the first manufacturer in Canada to introduce all-electric, zero-emissions, green-powered delivery trucks. It’s at the heart of every aspect of our business. The other top companies in this category are: Kellogg Co. Starbucks, Danone, Molson Coors Brewing Co. Mining has significant social and environmental consequences.
But the Toronto-based gold company with mines and projects from Brazil to Russia believes it has a moral and business imperative to be a good corporate citizen and makes social responsibility part of its daily operations. I believe corporate responsibility is core to both our overall strategy and day-to-day activities, and it will remain a key priority for Kinross Gold. In a recent corporate report, Rollinson gave assurances in five areas where the company was committed to being socially responsible: safety, energy, greenhouse gas emissions, water use and waste generation. Kinross’s approach to corporate responsibility combines designing programs specific to each operation with company-wide standards and global best practices. The company designs programs to manage the impact of its business operations and create opportunities to benefit locals. Ed Opitz, the vice-president of corporate responsibility.
The company is trying to make a difference in areas where it has mines. A 2013 survey conducted near its Tasiast mine in Mauritania by local sociologists found that the number of households living below the poverty line had been cut by more than half since 2011 and the unemployment rate had declined from 47 per cent to 24 per cent. The progress was partly attributed to Kinross’s partnership with the local Bedouin co-operative, whose 35 members received literacy and business skills training. In 2010, the company became a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate responsibility initiative, with more than 6,500 business and non-business participants across 135 countries.
L’Oréal uses more than 250 raw materials to produce its wide range of cosmetics. Shea butter and palm oil are two ingredients that are at the centre of the company’s ambitious initiative to source responsibly. 2006, L’Oréal sources 100 per cent of its palm oil from RSPO-certified sources. In addition, the company implemented a program to comply with fair trade principles in Burkina Faso.