Wildfires, water pollution and deforestation are just a handful of environmental issues we are currently facing. And while minimising environmental impact is one of the biggest challenges that businesses and individuals are confronting in 2020, some countries are more invested than others. By making more sustainable choices as a business, it can reduce the impact on the environment. In fact, packaging retailer RAJA has studied the Global 100, a sustainability index from Corporate Knights, to find out how eco-friendly businesses and industries are across the globe. Read on to find out which country is ahead of the game when it comes to committing to change.

The countries most committed to change

So, which country is leading the charge when it comes to encouraging sustainability within businesses? The United States of America is at the top of the list, boasting the highest number of highly-ranked sustainable companies, with 17 features on the list. This is a step in the right direction, as further research revealed that even though the U.S. has 5 per cent of the global population, it is responsible for 30 per cent of global energy use and 25 per cent of carbon emissions. Clearly, change needs to happen, so to offset the environmental impact, the government offers financial incentives like tax credits to encourage companies to focus on becoming more environmentally friendly. Currently, there are over 40 federal policies, such as loans and grants to benefit from for making more environmentally conscious choices.

In second place is Canada, with 12 highly-ranked green companies featuring on the index. Reducing their impact on the environment is something the Canadian government is committed to as they too have introduced initiatives to encourage businesses to go green. This is important, as oil and gas make up 26 per cent of all greenhouse gases emitted by Canada and transportation accountable for 25 per cent. They introduced the Climate Action Incentive Fund to provide financial incentives of between $25k – $250k for small and medium-sized businesses to help reduce the cost of implementing more sustainable business practices. It includes retrofits to heavy-duty vehicles for more energy-efficient models and fitting in new renewable energy systems for heating and cooling.

Other countries that are dedicated to reducing their impact on climate-change are France with 9 features on the list, Finland and Japan with 6 features and the United Kingdom, Denmark and Germany with 5 green companies committed to change.

What industries are committed to change?

Consumers are becoming more intolerant of businesses that fail to confront climate-change and are willing to shop around for one that does. This is something that financial services companies like banks and insurers understand the importance of, and therefore make sustainable changes from a business perspective. In fact, banking is the most eco-conscious industry with 12 green companies featuring on the index. It appears they understand the value of going ‘green’, as it can enhance business reputation, drive customer satisfaction and allow them to meet government regulatory requirements about reducing their carbon footprint.

In second place on the list is the pharmaceutical sector, with 7 companies included on the sustainable corporation index. This industry is working hard to become more sustainable through innovative processes like pigging, – a process designed to reduce waste by recovering the residual liquid product, as well as reducing the amount of cleaning chemicals and preventing any excessive water waste.

Other industries that earnt a spot on the index are wholesale powder and wireless telecommunication services, with 5 companies on the list and the electrical equipment and power systems industry with 4 features on the list.

There is a lot of pressure for companies to make more sustainable choices, but it is made easier with science and incentives from governments and investors. However, the responsibility of being more eco-conscious falls on both businesses and members of society, who need to do their bit to reduce the impact of climate change.  Even small changes can make a big difference.