TORONTO, March 30, 2016 /CNW/ – When it comes to sustainability performance, the leadership of mid-size companies is as important as the steps taken by Canada’s corporate behemoths. Corporate Knights created its annual Future 40 Responsible Leaders ranking to highlight companies with revenue under $2 billion or less than 2,000 employees that are taking significant steps toward a cleaner economy.

“Sustainability is quickly becoming an integral part of competitive strategy for companies of all sizes,” said Toby Heaps, CEO of Corporate Knights. “Wasting electricity and habitat degradation lead to negative consequences, regardless of the size of a business. With governments moving toward post-Paris carbon reduction goals, Future 40 companies are among the best positioned for this new reality.”

Horizon Utilities tops the 2016 Future 40 ranking, with a decade-long commitment to sustainability measurement, habitat stewardship, local community engagement and excellent customer service. A perennial award recipient among utilities, Horizon adopted Global Reporting Initiative disclosure practices in 2008 and is working actively on densificaton with the communities of Hamilton and St. Catharines. It was the only utility in the province with more than 60,000 customers to achieve energy production and conservation targets as required under Ontario’s long-term energy plan.

“Many people have asked me over the years why we spend more money on sustainability measures,” said Neil Freeman, vice-president, business development and corporate relations at Horizon. “And my response is that we spend less than you. Measurement gives us increased mileage on what we do spend.”


The Future 40 Responsible Leaders ranking was created in 2014 to showcase Canada’s emerging sustainability players. Data is gathered from publicly disclosed sources and verified with companies. Methodology encompasses 12 key performance indicators (KPIs) in resource, employee and financial management. Tobacco companies and those that derive most of their revenue from weapons manufacturing are excluded from this ranking universe.

Mining companies figured prominently with 13 companies on the 2016 Future 40 list. Real estate management, transportation and petroleum companies were also on the list. Ninety per cent of the companies reported their energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Disclosure of water usage and waste generation also improved over the prior year at 75 and 70 per cent respectively. Reinforcing their ongoing commitment to sustainability disclosure and leadership, GTAA and EDC, which ranked second and third this year, achieved the top spot in prior years. New companies on the list in 2016 included London Hydro, EPCOR Utilities, Edmonton International Airport and Tembec.


For the complete Corporate Knights list of Future 40 companies please visit: