Adidas and Burberry were awarded Gold Class as part of a Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA)

Adidas and Burberry were awarded 'Gold Class' as part of a Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA)

German sportswear giant Adidas and UK fashion brand Burberry have both been recognised as leaders for their sustainability practices, with Hugo Boss, Kering and Gildan Activewear also receiving recognition.

Adidas and Burberry have been awarded 'Gold Class' as part of a Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA) carried out by global investment group RobecoSAM, a company focused exclusively on sustainability investing.

Each year over 3,400 companies eligible for inclusion in one of the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices are invited to participate in the CSA. This year, 867 companies from 42 countries took part. They were asked industry-specific questions focusing on economic, environmental and social factors that are relevant to the companies' success, but that are under-researched in conventional financial analysis.

In order to be listed in the Yearbook, companies must be within the top 15% of their industry and must achieve a score within 30% of their industry's top performing company.

Adidas has been recognised as an 'industry mover' and received Gold Class, which means it achieved a minimum total score of 60, and was within 1% of the top performing company's score. Burberry also received Gold Class.

French luxury goods group Kering received Silver Class for its sustainability efforts, which means it received a total score of at least 57, and was within a range of 1% to 5% of the industry's top performing company's score.

Bronze Class, which requires a score of at least 54, within a range of 5% to 10% of the industry's top performing company's score, was awarded to Gildan Activewear and Hugo Boss. Sourcing giant Li & Fung and sports giant Asics both took part, and feature in the Yearbook, but did not receive an award.

"Sustainability challenges are shaping companies' competitive landscape, and companies that take the lead in seizing opportunities and managing risks associated with these challenges are best-positioned to outperform their peers," says RobecoSAM in its Yearbook.

"We are convinced that the integration of financially material sustainability information into our investment decisions helps us to evaluate companies' quality of management and future performance potential. The CSA forms the foundation of this integration and allows us to proactively engage companies on sustainability topics that drive business performance and help them manage long-term risks."

A number of chemical companies also made it onto the list with Silver Class recognitions awarded to BASF and Novozymes, while Indorama Ventures received Bronze Class.

RobecoSAM's Sustainability Yearbook is the world's most comprehensive publication on corporate sustainability. For investors, it identifies companies that are strongly positioned to create long-term shareholder value.