Spain third country in the world with best sustainability performance

by Lorraine Williamson
Sustainability in Spain at board level

Sustainability is the key to success for companies in Spain. International research shows that Spain is the third country in the world in which companies achieve the best results in terms of sustainability. 

This conclusion was drawn on April 27 by the American research company Diligent together with Esade from Barcelona. The so-called “ESG Friendly” report compares the performance of more than 4,800 companies from 50 countries in North America, Europe, Asia, and Oceania. Moreover, based on this report, companies in Spain come out very positively, the Spanish news site Eleconomista.es wrote on Wednesday. 

4,800 companies worldwide assessed with ESG score 

The report’s researchers assigned companies from each country an ESG score. This stands for environment, social, and governance (environmental, social, and board of directors). Consequently, based on this rating, Spanish companies are in third place after France (69.57) and Switzerland (66.51). Spain achieved 64.35 out of 100 points. In the same ranking, the Netherlands achieved 59.16 points, which is good for sixth place. 

Although Spanish companies are on average in third place in the world of all companies assessed, the report also pays extra attention to the ‘environmental’ aspects, where Spain also takes third place after France and Japan. Furthermore, in social terms, Spain even takes second place after France. 

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Diversity – in age and gender – positive on board 

The research examines how the composition of a board of directors influences the degree of sustainability within a company. Companies that score highest are those with boards that are diverse in terms of gender, age, nationality, and knowledge level. 

In particular, a larger share of women on a board of directors has a positive effect on the sustainability score within a company. When people of different ages sit on a board, this often leads to a higher ESG score. 

Small number of companies correctly estimate the value of ‘sustainability committee’ 

A development point for many of the 4,800 companies analysed is that only 12% of these companies have appointed a ‘sustainability committee’. Moreover, researchers believe that the presence of such a committee is a determinant of better environmental and social performance. 

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