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PG&E Honored for Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility

PG&E Corporation’s commitment to sustainability and corporate responsibility were recognized this winter by Corporate Knights magazine and Corporate Responsibility Officer magazine, both of which named the utility holding company to their lists of 100 best companies.

On January 28, Corporate Knights Inc. and Innovest Strategic Value Advisors included PG&E Corporation on their fifth annual Global 100 list of the world’s most sustainable corporations, one of only 20 U.S. companies and five utilities given the honor.

The list includes firms that “demonstrate exceptional capacity to address their sector-specific environmental, social and governance risks and opportunities,” according to the sponsors. Not by accident, 46 of the 2009 Global 100 companies, including PG&E, have been in business for at least 100 years.

The Global 100 companies also have a track record of superior market performance over time, according to Innovest, the New York investment advisory firm whose detailed analysis informs the rankings.

Innovest’s CEO, Matthew Kiernan, noted that “The continuing (market) out-performance of the Global 100, even in the midst of the current global financial crisis, provides eloquent testimony–and yet more evidence–for investors, company executives, governments, and civil society alike: superior positioning and performance on environmental, social, and governance issues does provide a valuable leading indicator of better-managed, more agile, ‘futureproof’ companies. And we expect this ‘sustainability premium’ to become even larger in the coming years.”

On March 6, Corporate Responsibility Officer announced that PG&E Corp. made its 10th annual 100 Best Corporate Citizens List, at number 28. The list ranks the Russell 1000 companies on their performance with respect to the environment, climate change, human rights, philanthropy, employee relations, finances and governance. PG&E Corp. tied for first in governance and was ranked 36th among the Russell 1000 for its commitment to addressing climate change.

As evidence that corporate responsibility supports rather than undercuts traditional company goals, the magazine cited the fact that the three-year returns of companies on the Best Corporate Citizen list have outperformed other Russell 1000 companies by an average of 26 percent.

CRO Magazine publisher Jay Whitehead declared, “In good times, checkbook citizenship can win the day. But in tough times, strong reputations and transparency pack as much punch as a strong balance sheet. In today’s deep recession, human capital and financial capital seek safety—and companies on the 100 Best Corporate Citizens List are today’s safest harbors.”