Unilever emerge as the top sustainability leader in the Tomorrow’s Value Rating 2014 for the second consecutive year. But while sustainability leaders demonstrate ambition, drastic action is required if we are to remain within our planetary boundaries.
Tomorrow’s Value Rating TVR 2014, published by DNV GL, assesses the sustainability performance of the world’s largest companies. It evaluates how well companies understand their risks and opportunities, and how prepared they are to create future business value. For the second year running, Unilever tops the rating. Holcim, Intel and Nestlé follow in joint second position.
This year’s report finds clear sustainability leaders demonstrating greater ambition than their peers, understanding and responding to key material issues, and setting meaningful, long-term SMART targets. Yet whilst the TVR is encouraged by some great examples of approach and performance, it claims there are still significant gaps that businesses should move to address.
Jon Woodhead, Business Development Manager, DNV GL – Business Assurance, states “It is becoming increasingly clear that, as a global society and economy, we are reaching the limits to traditional growth. Unfortunately, only a handful of even the top-performing companies in the TVR seem to be preparing properly for a paradigm shift in how we do business.”
Mega-trends such as population growth, rapid urbanisation and over-consumption of finite natural resources are beginning to push the earth towards a point where, without urgent change, global systemic collapse becomes not just a remote possibility, but a distinct probability.
Throughout its 11 year history, the TVR has always sought to challenge the companies rated to illustrate which ones really are leading the charge towards truly sustainable business. It analyses strategy, examines whether there are sufficient supporting structures in place, and delves into how the companies have been performing on the most critical material issues. Most importantly, the TVR looks at what still needs to be done to realise a safe and sustainable future for all.
The TVR finds that the majority of the 45 companies studied have now embedded an approach to sustainability into their business strategy, although few are actively using that strategy to grow their business. There are strong examples of leadership, but also many gaps and weaknesses in the approach of very large multinational companies.
In retaining its number one position, Unilever offers a significantly more comprehensive, compelling and ambitious vision of the future for itself, its sector and the global economy as a whole, says the TVR. Building materials and aggregates company Holcim, distinguishes itself by clearly stating its commitments to tackling some of the prevailing social and environmental challenges.
Jon Woodhead concludes, “Decoupling economic growth from impacts such as carbon emissions, resource extraction and biodiversity loss is the only way forward. As yet only a select handful of the leaders in our TVR 2014 such as Holcim, Unilever and Intel are starting to make these commitments, all of the companies have quite some way to go.”
The top five companies in the 2014 Tomorrow’s Value Rating are:
• Unilever reinforces its position as the top sustainability leader.
• Only half of the companies analysed have meaningful SMART targets against material issues.
• Sector leaders such as Unilever, Microsoft and Nestlé are utilising sustainability innovations to drive future growth and competitive advantage.
• Too many companies are still failing to integrate sustainability risks and opportunities into their risk management approaches.
• The companies rated in TVR 2014 are all seen as sustainability leaders, yet the average score was still under 70%. This shows that even the leaders have some way to go.
Notes to editors
The Tomorrow’s Value Rating (TVR) 2014 examines the sustainability programmes of the world’s largest companies. Those included in this year’s TVR are listed on the S&P Global 1200 Index (SGL) and are also recognised as sustainability leaders by being in at least one of the following indexes: DJSI 2013 World Index, the Corporate Knights Global 100 Index or the 2013 CDP Global 500 Climate Disclosure Leadership Index. We have chosen to study the 15 largest companies globally and the 10 largest companies from each of three sectors: food and beverage, oil and gas, construction and materials. This resulted in 45 companies in total.
TVR sector reports provide in-depth analysis and insight of the sustainability practices and performance in each of the three sectors. Each report uses the TVR methodology to assess companies against the five TVR domains: strategy, governance, innovation, engagement and value chain. TVR sector reports are an indication of today’s leading sustainability practices, which will drive value creation in the future.
Results and findings of the main TVR 2014 report and of the other TVR sector studies, as well as details of the TVR methodology, are available at www.dnvgl.com/TVR2014