Less competitive countries have greener businesses

FIRMS in some of Europe’s least competitive economies are the greenest in the world, according to the latest annual ranking of “corporate sustainability” published in Davos by KPMG and green investment company SAM.

Portugal boasts the most environmentally friendly business practices, the research concludes, with just over two thirds of the country’s biggest companies included in the list of green firms.

That compares to nine per cent of American firms, while Spain and Italy’s firms also rank highly in the index.

The report also says that European and Asian (ex Japan) companies are making the most progress in improving their records, with consumer goods, healthcare firms deemed the most “innovative”.

In those sectors, the Netherlands’ Phillips Electronics and US’s United Healthcare Group came out top.

Japanese and American firms, by contrast, were deemed the least innovative in tackling the impact their activities have on carbon emissions and the environment.

The research looks at business practices among the 2,500 biggest companies in the world, with the best 15 per cent deemed “sustainable”.