BGIS named as a top-ranking company by Corporate Knights
BGIS named as a top-ranking company by Corporate Knights
BGIS named as a top-ranking company by Corporate Knights

TORONTO, June 7, 2018 /CNW/ - Corporate Knights today released the 17th annual Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada list. Selected from a pool of 232 Canadian companies with revenues over $1 billion – each evaluated on a set of up to 17 environmental, social and governance indicators relative to their industry peers using publicly available information – the Best 50 companies set the standard for sustainability leadership in Canada.  

The top-ranked company in this year's Best 50 was Hydro-Québec. The public utility, which manages the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity in Quebec, achieved the top spot with strong female representation on its board (56% versus industry median of 18%) and CEO-to-average worker pay equity (6:1 versus industry median of 37:1), with nearly all of its electricity coming from clean sources (98% renewable). 

"The Best 50 Corporate Citizens define the Canadian standard for which companies are doing the most to advance a more fair and sustainable world," says Corporate Knights CEO Toby Heaps.

The 2018 Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada ranking was sponsored by CIPEC –the Canadian Industry Program for Energy Conservation–which helps organizations increase profits by improving energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

On average the Best 50 Corporate Citizens paid slightly more taxes, had significantly more female leaders and generous pensions, generated fewer greenhouse gases and air pollution, had lower employee turnover, earned a higher percentage of their revenue from clean sources, were more likely to link executive pay to sustainability targets, used a higher percentage of renewable energy, and had a much smaller gap between the CEO pay and average worker pay than their large Canadian peers.


2018 Best 50

2018 Starting Universe

Average % of taxes paid (based on pre-tax profits)



Female directors (%)



Female executives (%)



Pension contribution per full time employee



GHG intensity (GHG tonnes/millions CAD revenue, 2016)



Employee turnover



Clean revenue (%)



% of companies with executive paylink to sustainability targets



Air pollution intensity (tonnes of air pollutants/millions CAD revenue, 2016)



CEO to average employee pay ratio



Renewable energy use (%)



Corporate Knights noted a few interesting trends in performance across Canada's companies with at least $1 billion in annual revenue. CEO pay continued to increase by more than average worker pay: CEOs now make 74 times more than the average employee at large companies. But some companies bucked this trend. Fourteen of the large companies reviewed had CEO-to-average worker pay ratios of ten or less, including the CEO of number one ranked Hydro-Québec who earned six times his firm's average employee pay.

On pension funds, a worrying trend was detected among the 144 large companies who still offer defined benefit plans, with the gap between pension plan assets and obligations growing by more than $10 billion in the past year to reach $33.6 billion, which could mean some workers are at risk of not getting the full benefit of the pensions they are expecting.

Among Canada's large companies, board diversity has reached 24% and, extrapolating from a three year trend, is on track to reach parity by 2031. Gender diversity among the executive ranks, however, is lagging at just 18%, and not on track to reach parity until 2058.

This year's Best 50 Corporate Citizens will be recognized in Toronto at a gala at the Royal Conservatory of Music hosted by Corporate Knights. Ed Waitzer will also be recognized with the Corporate Knights Award of Distinction for his seminal work advancing the legal foundations for corporate and pension fund leaders to serve the public good.

Two major advancements were made to the Best 50 ranking methodology to ensure consistency between Corporate Knights' Canadian and global ranking methodology, which was updated earlier this year. First, each key performance indicator is now weighted to reflect its relative importance to the industry in question. Previously each metric was equally weighted regardless of industry. The second advancement was to include a clean revenue metric to reflect the beneficial impact of a company's products and services on the environment. It is calculated using a definition derived from multiple sources applied to a segmented revenue database from FactSet, and confirmed via manual inspection of financial statements.

For full rankings, methodology details and additional comparators and breakdowns, please see:

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