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UniFirst Listed on Barron’s 2019 “100 Most Sustainable U.S. Companies” List

  • 2019-02-08
  • Author: Heather Ramsay

Across the U.S., sustainability has become a priority in many areas. In Barron's latest Top 100 Sustainable U.S. Companies List, published February 8th, UniFirst came in at #38, the highest ranking in the industry (only other competitor listed was Cintas at #87).

Sustainable businesses (or “green” businesses) are often defined as those having minimal negative impact on the global or local environment, community, society, or economy. In general, a business is described as “green” if it matches the following four criteria:
  1. It incorporates principles of sustainability into all business decisions.
  2. It supplies environmentally friendly products or services.
  3. It is “greener” than traditional competition.
  4. It has made an enduring commitment to environmental principles in its business operations.

To create the rankings, Calvert Research and Management, the sustainability powerhouse owned by Eaton Vance (EV), analyzed the 1,000 largest publicly held U.S. companies (by stock market value) and scored them on more than 200 key indicators and 28 issues. Calvert then sorted the data into five key categories:
  1. Shareholders*
  2. Employees
  3. Customers
  4. Planet
  5. Community
* The shareholders category might include executive compensation, for example, and the customers category might include data security or product safety.

Each corporation received a rating from zero to 100 in each category. Calvert compiled Barron’s list, basing the rankings on hundreds of metrics that address environmental, social, and corporate governance, or ESG, factors. Finally, Calvert produced a single rating for all of the companies, weighted according to how material each category is for their industry: For example, emissions are less critical for a bank’s score than they are for a trucking company’s. According to Calvert’s CEO, “Companies can be differentiated based on how well they manage their environmental and social impact, and the strength of their governance. The list shows who’s creating a better company, long term, for long-term investors.”

A major shout out to all UniFirst Team Partners for doing their part in helping to make UniFirst one of the most sustainable companies!