As Big Pharma makes evermore declarations on its sustainability credentials, who are the industry’s most sustainable companies? With wildlife under severe threat from biopharmaceutical run-off, which companies are truly dedicated to change? Which are truly dedicated to equitable pay structures and promoting diversity, equity and inclusion? To answer these questions, the Toronto-based media and research company Corporate Knights publishes its ‘Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World’ every year, analysing and ranking companies across all industries on 25 key performance indicators. These include resource management, employee management, financial management, sustainable revenue & sustainable investment and supplier performance. 

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In the most recent 2024 ranking (above), no American pharma companies make the top five list despite the USA's status as the world's leading biopharmaceutical innovation hub and most profitable domestic market. Japanese firm Eisai ranks top for pharma (and 35th among all industries) with Eisai CEO Haruo Naito earning just ten times the wage of the average Eisai employee (compared to AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot earning 111 times as much). Eisai also has an incredibly low employee turnover rate of just two percent. Further down the list are Denmark’s Novo Nordisk, the diabetes and obesity giant which is foundation-owned and has sustainable investment and energy productivity scores of almost 95 percent. Also from Denmark is Novozymes (now known as Novonesis after a merger with fellow Danish firm Chr. Hansen), as well as Sanofi from France and the UK/Sweden’s AstraZeneca. See below for the full list and some selected data. For the full Global 100, visit the Corporate Knights website here.