At the rate we’re going, climate change is not just going to cause catastrophic damage to the environment—it’s going to alter our society as we know it. The Earth’s temperature has already risen by 1.19 degrees Celsius since the late 19th century. With the rise in the planet’s temperature, we’ve seen a domino effect across every type of ecosystem. 

If this trend continues, the planet could soon become inhospitable and our once lush forests will be replaced with barren wasteland.

So, what can we do to fix this? 

Around the world, countries need to work together. The UN started adopting policies to address climate change in 1995 at their first Conference of the Parties (COP). For instance, they created guidelines for countries to follow to limit the increase in temperature to 1.5ºC. And on a smaller scale, businesses need to adopt sustainable practices in everything they do. 

In this article, we take a look at the top 5 most sustainable companies of 2021. By learning from them, you can take note of what techniques they used themselves to achieve a sustainable business. Then, you can apply those strategies to your own business to do your part—and stand out in the market.

The 5 Most Sustainable Companies of 2021 

Sustainability is a necessary goal not just for society, but for businesses and individuals as well. Every business should strive to reduce its environmental impact. Let’s take a look at some of the companies that are leading the charge for sustainable development.

#1 – Schneider Electric 

Schneider Electric is a French multinational company that focuses on digital and automation solutions for sustainability. Currently, it ranks as the world’s most sustainable company. The company has seen a huge uplift in its conservational efforts with Schneider Electric placing 29th in 2020’s rankings. 

One way the company is making strides to lower the distribution of greenhouse gasses (GHGs) in the planet’s atmosphere is by introducing renewable disruptors. Take Schneider Electric’s “Zero Carbon Project.” With this project, the company works with over a thousand of the world’s leading suppliers to reduce carbon emissions. That amounts to 70% of the company’s total carbon footprint. 

Key Takeaway: By working with suppliers who also focus on reducing carbon emissions, you can lower your carbon footprint as well. And the cherry on top? Using renewable technology cuts down your business expenses as well.

#2 – Ørsted 

Ørsted is a Danish multinational power company. In 2020, it ranked the most sustainable company in the world, before coming in second in this year’s list. While it may have fallen a rank, Ørsted is still a model for sustainability. In fact, the company has been considered the world’s most sustainable energy firm for three years in a row.

Ørsted is one of the world’s leading developers of renewable energy. They have shifted from the use of fossil fuels to green energy for their day-to-day operations. They have also committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2025. 

Key Takeaway: By switching to green energy sources for your daily operations, you can make a difference every day. Whether you’re running a warehouse or an office, this is a simple step to a brighter, more sustainable future. 

#3 – Banco de Brasil 

Banco de Brasil is the largest bank in South America. It currently ranks as the third most sustainable business in the world. This was an improvement over their 2020 placement of 9th. 

The bank has plans to improve sustainability across multiple sectors, highlighted by its 10 commitments. The goal of their commitments is to fund the sustainable development of their clients and to invest in companies focused on the enhancement of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues.

In addition, Banco de Brasil plans to implement ESG management focusing on increasing a clean energy matrix, reducing their carbon footprint, promoting employee diversity, and ensuring strong governance practices. 

Key Takeaway: By highlighting sustainable businesses for their client’s investments, they’re being more sustainable while still meeting their clients’ needs. Partnering with sustainable brands is essential to transition your own business into one that puts the planet first.

#4 – Neste Oyj 

Neste Oyj is an oil refining and marketing company based in Finland. It holds the rank of the fourth most sustainable company in the world. Its rank fell from third during 2020, but it has been on the Corporate Knights Global 100 Ranking for 15 years in a row—longer than any other energy firm. 

Neste Oyj promotes sustainable growth by innovating renewable energy. For instance, the company created the Neste MY Renewable Diesel, a type of diesel oil that doesn’t require fossil fuels. It also reduces up to 90% of GHG emissions when compared to regular fuel. 

Key Takeaway: By embracing innovative technology and pushing the limits, your company can be a leader in sustainability like Neste Oyj. When your products are the only sustainable option, you corner a part of the market your competitors can’t even reach. 

#5 – Stantec 

Stantec is a North American consulting firm that focuses on environmental sciences, engineering, architecture, and interior design. Impressively, the company ranks fifth as one of the most sustainable companies in 2021. On top of that, it’s the most sustainable company in North America. 

Stantec’s main contribution to sustainability comes from its clean revenue and clean investments. These are goods and services that contribute to the betterment of the environment. For example, Stantec has investments in hydropower. Additionally, the company offers its services by assisting in implementing clean technology. 

Key Takeaway: By investing in clean technology, like hydropower, your company can stand out among others that have yet to make the switch. And in a competitive market, sustainability gives you a major advantage in the eyes of the consumer.

3 Ways to Create a More Sustainable Business

These five companies have shown that you can have a sustainable company while remaining profitable. It may take hard work and major changes, but the planet—and your customers—are relying on you. If we don’t start changing the way we run our businesses today, then there won’t be a tomorrow. 

Here are 3 tips for transitioning to a sustainable business. 

  • Invest in renewable technology – The most effective way for you to reduce your environmental impact is by using renewable technology. When a company uses eco-friendly technology during its daily operations, its overall carbon footprint will decrease. For example, Google’s cloud services reportedly have zero net carbon emissions. This means that when making use of this service, your company won’t contribute to climate change. 
  • Partner with sustainable suppliers – Tons of suppliers and manufacturers are changing their policies to be more environmentally friendly. And so, this means you can reduce your carbon footprint by simply changing who you’re sourcing from. Sustainable sourcing is just one way the biggest companies in the world are doing their part—and you can too. 
  • Focus on your supply chain – Finally, one of the biggest chains you can make to improve your sustainable initiatives starts with your supply chain. By looking at your supply chain and finding ways to reduce emissions and operate more efficiently, all while still satisfying your end-users. Starting with your supply chain is one of the best ways to go green. 

Transform Your Business with Sustainable Supply Chains

As we’ve seen with these five companies, sustainability is an achievable goal. When companies adopt an eco-friendly mindset, they can successfully reduce their impact on the climate. And when other businesses see sustainability as successful, they’ll be inclined to adopt better, green business practices as well. But, where do you start?

At Good for Life, we have a huge network of sustainable suppliers to connect you with. We can also help you make the shift and transition to a more sustainable, agile supply chain. And maybe, you’ll be one of the top-performing and sustainable businesses next year.

Feel free to contact us to learn how we can help you reduce your impact on the environment.