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Wednesday, Corporate Knights announced its sixth annual Global 100 list of the most sustainable large corporations. The list was culled from 3,000 listed companies around the world, which were ranked by 10 criteria including environmental indicators such as progress toward sustainable use of energy and social indicators such as diversity of board directors.

Among the 24 countries, the United Kingdom led the way with 21 Global 100 companies (one more than they had in 2009). The United States followed with 12 (down from 20 in 2009). Canada and Australia tied for third with nine companies a piece.

The top Canadian company was Enbridge Inc. (NYSE:ENB), in 16th place. They were followed by Encana Corp. (NYSE:ECA) (25th), Suncor Energy (NYSE:SU) (40th), and Sun Life Financial Inc. (NYSE:SLF) (50th).

Interestingly, the good guys are ahead of the pack. “From its inception in February 2005, the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations has achieved a total return of 23.67%, outperforming its benchmark (the MSCI All Country World Index) by 334 basis points per annum to January 25th, 2010.”

Founded in 2002, Corporate Knights Inc. is an independent Canadian-based media company focused on prompting and reinforcing sustainable development. Corporate Knights is the publisher of Corporate Knights Magazine, the magazine for clean capitalism.

Source: Sustainable Companies, Good Investments