The 50 most innovative companies in the world also lead in sustainability

Two thirds of the companies that have participated in the latest study on global innovation by the strategic consultancy Boston Consulting Group (BCG) state that Climate and Sustainability (CyS) are among its top corporate priorities. In this sense, more than half are considered innovative organizations and place both innovation and Climate and Sustainability among their three main priorities. However, only one in five companies is prepared to act in these areas, which requires incorporating Climate and Sustainability as a priority in their innovation engineshave the appropriate skills and be prepared to develop innovations in products, processes and business models.

About the report Are you ready for green growth?

In its sixteenth report on the most innovative companies, entitled Are you ready for green growth? BCG has asked for the first time about the importance of innovation for Climate and Sustainability. This study shows that, although there are large companies that almost daily announce their commitments to reduce their CO2 emissions to zero, the gap between your commitment and your capabilities to achieve it is becoming a problem, but innovation is the solution to reduce it.

Companies are increasingly aware that innovation is a boost for their Climate and Sustainability commitments to materialize more effectively. At the same time, investors, regulators, customers and shareholders expect large companies and their CEOs take the initiative to make real progress against global warming“, comments Ramón Baeza, Managing Director and Senior Partner of BCG. “Innovative European companies, and in particular Spanish ones, stand out for their commitment to sustainability and many are already taking measures to reduce emissions and eliminate them”.

The report measures innovators engaged in Climate and Sustainability with BCG’s innovation assessment tool (i2i) targeting their innovation practices and platforms. Among the companies committed to Climate and Sustainability, 28% get a score of 80 or higher (i2i’s perfect score is 100), which qualifies them as “ready” and equipped with well-developed and worked innovation capabilities. This indicates that almost three quarters of companies engaged in Climate and Sustainability still need to improve and that 80% of all companies face a steep learning curve.

On the other hand, many of the 50 most innovative companies in the 2022 list are also leaders in innovation in Climate and Sustainability. In fact, a good number of them are among the first to adopt environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles and establish decarbonization commitments. Nearly 80% (39 of them) are rated as top innovators in Climate and Sustainability, according to the global votes of their peers.

Apple tops the list

For second consecutive Year, Apple ranks first on the list. Microsoft rises two places to second place, Amazon moves up one place to third, Alphabet drops three places to fourth, and Tesla maintains its fifth position. Four new companies – ByteDance (#45), Nvidia (#15), Panasonic (#46) and Zalando (#25) – join the top 50. Also seen in this year’s list is an uptick in the automotive sector , as GM (#42) and Ford (#43) return to the top 50, Tesla (#5) and Toyota (#21) maintain their positions, and Mitsubishi sits at #49. number two in terms of the percentage of companies prioritizing CYS (a reflection of the industry’s commitment to electric and autonomous vehicles).

As in the last five years of the ranking, more than half of the companies on this year’s list are based in North America. But Asia-Pacific and China continue to be areas of growing innovationand companies from those regions increase their representation, going from four and three companies in 2018 to eight and seven companies in 2022, respectively.

The largest carbon emitters prioritize improvements in Climate and Sustainability

The report reveals that the sectors responsible for the largest emissions – those of durable goods (85%), automotive (78%), public services (77%) and oil and gas (77%) – are precisely those that most prioritize Climate and Sustainability. In addition, companies that already emit a lot of gases are 20% more likely than those that emit little to focus on the type of technological solutions necessary for a substantial decarbonization.

Companies that have made Climate and Sustainability one of their strategic priorities place a stronger emphasis on a number of aspects of their innovation models than other types of innovators: they are more ambitious, they identify areas to focus on better manage their priorities and have clear performance goals; they also engage more actively with their partners and even with their competitors.

Innovative companies have also seen a positive impact on the productivity of their innovation and R&D activities. For example, 80% of companies surveyed work remotely two or more days a week and 49% of innovators in Climate and Sustainability state that the productivity of their innovation and R&D activities has improved between 10% and 50% thanks to these new ways of working.

As sustainability becomes a priority on boards of directors and boards around the world, the importance of innovation increases proportionally“, affirms Ramón Baeza. “But innovation, whether in products, processes or business models, is not an isolated function and does not take place in a sealed laboratory. progress depends on innovation is embedded throughout the organizationwith the same human and technological capabilities that drive success in other areasBeza continues.

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