Toyota tops list of greenest companies for clean energy revenue

Automotive giant Toyota has beaten Siemens, Schneider Electrics and Panasonic to the top spot of the first Carbon Clean 200 rankings, which lists the world's largest publicly listed companies by revenue generated from clean energy products.

The Carbon Clean 200, established by non-profit As You Sow and green media researchers Corporate Knights, highlights that companies investing in green energy products and services are outperforming fossil fuel companies by three to one in regards to revenue performance.

As You Sow’s chief executive and co-author of the report Andrew Behar said: “Our intention with The Clean200 is to begin a conversation that defines what companies will be part of the clean energy future. The Clean200 turns the ‘carbon bubble’ inside out. The list is far from perfect, but begins to show how it’s possible to accelerate and capitalise on the greatest energy transition since the industrial revolution.

“The outstanding performance of this list shows that the notion that investors must sacrifice returns when investing in clean energy is outdated. Many clean energy investments are profitable now, and we anticipate that over the long-term their appeal will only go up as technologies improve and more investors move away from underperforming fossil fuel companies.”

According to the report, the Clean200 companies almost tripled the revenue performance of their fossil fuel counterparts – listed in a sister report the Carbon Underground 200 that ranks fossil fuel companies being targeted for divestment – over the last ten years.

The colour of money

Toyota managed to pip Siemens to top spot, while Johnson Controls, Schneider Electric and Panasonic rounded up the top five. In order to qualify for the rankings, companies had to have a least $1bn in market capital and at least 10% of its revenues deriving from clean energy as defined by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).

According to the report, Toyota’s total market capital reached more than $169bn for the most recent publicly available data, $40bn of which stemmed from clean energy revenue such as sales of hybrid and electric vehicles. The $40bn figure was more than double that of second-placed Siemens, which attained more than $14bn in clean energy revenue.

The report, which also lists companies such as Tesla, Philips Lighting and DONG Energy, demonstrates the transitional mindset that businesses are adopting in order to couple economic growth with reliable energy sources.

This mindset is especially evident in China, which had the most entries into the Clean200, as 66 Chinese-based companies filled out the rankings. Additionally, the report revealed that one third of the companies listed receive the majority of their revenue from clean energy.

Financial backing

Businesses are continuing to adopt greener energy solutions due to increased financial incentives, making it easier for sustainability professionals to suggest greener solutions to boardroom directors.

One company that is proving the commercial viability of sustainable products is Unilever. The companies Sustainable Living Brands developed 30% than the rest of the company in 2015.

The willingness to deploy new low-carbon products and services is also resonating within the financial sector. Many banks and financial institutions are implementing green bonds to fund clean energy projects in order to “climate-proof” portfolios.

In an effort to incentivise business to transitions away from traditional business models and energy sources, HSBC injected $1bn into its Green Bond portfolio last year to fund projects in the renewable energy sector.

Even large institutions such as the Church of England and various British Universities are adopting new climate change strategies to promote low-carbon products by divesting away from fossil fuel investments.

Alex Baldwin

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