Top 10 sustainable companies in the UK & Europe

Business Chief takes a look at the trailblazing companies in the UK & Europe which are going the extra mile to run more sustainable operations

Businesses across the globe are becoming increasingly conscious of the impact their activities are having on the environment around them. Gone are the days when companies could simply appear ‘responsible’ by setting a host of climate-related goals they intended to meet in the future. 

Modern-day customers and stakeholders alike want to see meaningful results – and will hold decision makers to account. However, many firms are showing unwavering commitment to the cause, going the extra mile to reduce their carbon footprint. If every organisation had a similar attitude to these sustainability leaders, together they could really make a difference. 

10. PwC

Headquarters: London, England

CEO: Bob Moritz

Number of employees: 327,000

Driven by a desire to build trust in society, solve important problems and deliver quality in assurance, advisory and tax services, PwC consists of a network of firms in 152 countries. A feather in the company’s cap is its Centre for Nature Positive Business, which unites more than 500 nature specialists from across the business. Bringing together knowledge in biodiversity, water, forestry, regenerative agriculture and geospatial analysis, the centre is accelerating the global transition to a nature-positive and net-zero future.

9. Capgemini

Headquarters: Paris, France

CEO: Aiman Ezzat

Number of employees: 360,000

Capgemini is a global leader in partnering with companies to transform and manage their processes, guided every day by its purpose of unleashing human energy through technology for an inclusive and sustainable future. The Paris-based firm can be considered a responsible and diverse organisation, employing more than 360,000 people across more than 50 countries. With 55 years of history and deep industry experience under its belt, Capgemini is trusted by clients to address the entire breadth of their business needs.

8. EY

Headquarters: London, England

CEO: Carmine Di Sibio

Number of employees: 365,000

EY exists to build a better working world, helping create long-term value for partners and people in more than 150 countries. Enabled by data and technology, and working across assurance, consulting, law, strategy, tax and transactions, diverse EY teams try to answer the big questions facing our society today. Having provided ESG services for more than 20 years, the business utilises deep technical skills across a breadth of areas to ensure clients can create value by running more sustainable operations.

7. Accenture

Headquarters: Dublin, Ireland

CEO: Julie Sweet

Number of employees: 732,000

With Julie Sweet – one of the world’s most powerful businesswomen – at the helm, Accenture is a firm driving change and creating meaningful value. The company’s approach is to incorporate sustainability into every facet of its work for the benefit of all stakeholders. Accenture offers solutions that mitigate carbon emissions across various domains, such as buildings, transport and even entire cities, while simultaneously promoting social and economic advantages. Its people work with more than 9,000 organisations to incorporate sustainability throughout the value chain.

6. Deloitte

Headquarters: London, England

CEO: Joe Ucuzoglu

Number of employees: 415,000+

For more than two decades, Deloitte has helped organisations make progress towards delivering sustainable value for their stakeholders. Using innovative approaches, digital solutions and lessons learned from its own journey, the firm serves a wide variety of clients as they redefine strategies, embed sustainability into their operations, meet disclosure and regulatory requirements, and accelerate transformation. Deloitte also continues to invest in outstanding talent from diverse backgrounds, empowering them to achieve their goals and fulfil their potential.

5. Nestlé

Headquarters: Vevey, Switzerland

CEO: Ulf Mark Schneider

Number of employees: 273,000

As the world’s largest food and beverage company, Nestlé is driven by a simple aim: to unlock the power of food to enhance the quality of life for everyone, both today and for generations to come. To deliver on this, Nestlé serves its customers with passion and a spirit of excellence, offering products and services for all stages of life. With history stretching back to 1866, Nestlé now employs around 273,000 people and operates in almost every country.

4. Unilever

Headquarters: London, England

CEO: Hein Schumacher

Number of employees: 127,000

Unilever is noted as a sustainability leader and is making exciting progress with the intention of replacing plastic bottles with paper. The business has a clear view of its social and environmental obligations and is committed to developing plant-based alternatives to fossil-fuel-derived cleaning products and packaging. Further key aims are to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2039 and raise standards of living across the globe by employing 93% of leaders from local communities. Unilever employs no less than 127,000 people in 190 different countries.

3. Vestas Wind Systems

Headquarters: Aarhus, Denmark

CEO: Henrik Andersen

Number of employees: 28,000+

Vestas Wind Systems A/S is the world's largest wind turbine manufacturer and wind turbine service provider. With a vision to become the global leader in sustainable energy solutions, all its activities revolve around the development and deployment of sustainable energy solutions. For Vestas, sustainability is grounded in our four corporate values: simplicity, collaboration, accountability and passion. It also translates as reducing or eliminating negative environmental and social impacts, while maximising the value provided to customers, employees, shareholders, suppliers, local communities and the wider planet. 

2. Siemens

Headquarters: Munich, Germany

CEO: Roland Busch

Number of employees: 311,000

Technology giant Siemens focuses on industry, infrastructure, transport and healthcare. From resource-efficient factories and resilient supply chains, to smart buildings and cleaner transportation, the company creates technology with purpose – adding real value for customers. What’s more, by combining the real and digital worlds, Siemens empowers customers to transform their industries and markets, thus transforming the everyday for billions of people. Sustainability is a key part of Siemens' strategy, as demonstrated by the DEGREE framework which takes its ESG commitment to the next level. This consists of a 360-degree approach for all stakeholders, including customers, suppliers, investors, people, society and the planet as a whole. In addressing the three strands of ESG, Siemens is building a better future that helps the organisation stay within planetary boundaries and foster a culture of trust, empowerment and growth, while supporting inclusive economic opportunities and ensuring its people are prepared for whatever the future holds.

1. Schneider Electric

Headquarters: Rueil-Malmaison, France

CEO: Peter Herweck

Number of employees: 130,000

Founded in 1836, Schneider Electric's purpose is to empower everyone to make the most of our energy and resources. Sustainability is at the heart of company activities. To demonstrate this, Schneider Electric has six key commitments: to act for a climate-positive world; to be efficient with resources; to live up to its principles of trust; to create equal opportunities; to harness the power of all generations; and to empower local communities. The business is currently helping 1,000 suppliers to deliver on their climate-positive goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 50% by 2025. Through Schneider Electric’s dedicated decarbonisation programme, offering training, expert support and solutions, partners get everything they need to make meaningful progress. DE&I is also a top priority for the organisation, with 130,000 employees spanning five generations and 182 nationalities in 108 countries. As of December 2022, women made up 34% of the workforce and 45% of the board of directors. 


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