Driving forces
In the mature global beverage industry, growth will continue to be driven by emerging markets, demographic trends and innovation. Carbonated soft drinks account for the majority of non-alcoholic beverages, but demand in developed markets has been in decline for years as consumers shift toward healthier and/or lower calorie alternatives. Over the last few years, such niche categories as energy drinks or single serve coffee have emerged and expanded. On the other hand, opportunities exist in emerging markets where favorable demographic trends are boosting consumption. Given the large proportion of calories consumed through beverages, the industry’s ingredients and advertising policies have increasingly come under scrutiny. Producers of alcoholic beverages, in particular, face the challenge of implementing effective and responsible marketing strategies. The growing demand in emerging markets has seen production capacity expanding in theses areas. As a result, the management of social and environmental risks such as water related risks is key to ensuring a sustainable long-term production base.

Highlighted criteria
Economic Dimension

  • Innovation Management
  • Strategy for Emerging Markets
  • Supply Chain Management

Environmental Dimension

  • Climate Strategy
  • Operational Eco-Efficiency
  • Water Related Risks

Social Dimension

  • Human Capital Development
  • Labor Practice Indicators and Human Rights
  • Talent Attraction & Retention

Sustainability leaders 2016
RobecoSAM Gold Class
Coca-Cola HBC AG* Switzerland
RobecoSAM Silver Class
Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc United States
Molson Coors Brewing Co United States
RobecoSAM Bronze Class
Diageo PLC United Kingdom
Heineken NV** Netherlands
PepsiCo Inc United States
* RobecoSAM Industry Leader
** RobecoSAM Industry Mover


Industry statistics
Number of companies in universe 45
Number of companies assessed by RobecoSAM in 2015 34
Assessed companies to total companies in universe (%) 76
Market capitalization of assessed companies
to total market capitalization (%)


Results at industry level
Dimension Average
Economic 53 83 46%
Environmental 52 94 26%
Social 52 89 28%


Total score

Reading Instructions

The information below provides an explanation on how to interpret the various sections contained in each of the Industry Profiles.

Driving forces
Highlights current and future challenges shaping the competitive landscape of each industry.

Highlighted criteria
Highlights selected industry-specific and general criteria that are applied in the 2015 RobecoSAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment.

Industry statistics
This section displays the research coverage in 2015 for the respective industry. Assessed companies include those that actively participated in the CSA and companies assessed by RobecoSAM based on publicly available information.

Results at industry level
Offers an overview of the 2015 RobecoSAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment scores. For each industry the average and the best score of the assessed companies are displayed, as well as the average score and the top score for the economic, environmental and social dimensions. The relative weight assigned to each of the three dimensions is also shown.


Each year, over 3,000 of the world’s largest companies are invited to participate in the RobecoSAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA). In the process, RobecoSAM has compiled one of the largest global databases on corporate sustainability.

For each industry, the company with the highest score is named the RobecoSAM Industry Leader, and is considered to be the company within its industry that is best prepared to seize the opportunities and manage the risks deriving from economic, environmental and social developments.

Companies whose score is within 1% of the Industry Leader’s score receive the RobecoSAM Gold Class award.

All companies receiving a score within a range of 1% to 5% from the score of the Industry Leader receive the RobecoSAM Silver Class distinction.

Companies whose score is within a range of 5% to 10% from the score of the Industry Leader receive the RobecoSAM Bronze Class distinction.

Within the top 15% of each industry, the company that has achieved the largest proportional improvement in its sustainability performance compared to the previous year is named the RobecoSAM Industry Mover.

Sustainability Yearbook Member
All companies that have been included in the Yearbook, but that have not received a medal distinction, are listed as a Sustainability Yearbook Member. 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 Leader’s score.

These logos are trademarks of RobecoSAM and may only be used in connection with corporate communication or marketing activities of the awarded companies (e.g. the awarded companies may refer to the RobecoSAM distinctions in their annual report/sustainability report, in the corporate profile on their homepage, etc). However, these logos may not be used in conjunction with any other products or services neither from the awarded companies nor from other companies.
RobecoSAM has no control over the information on websites linked to this site and thus cannot guarantee the accuracy, reliability nor the veracity of information on these sites. All brand names or company names mentioned or shown on this website are properties of their respective companies.
Read more about the Yearbook's methodology

RobecoSAM is pleased to see that over the years, participation rates in the RobecoSAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment have continuously risen – with a record number of companies taking part in this year’s assessment – indicating that sustainability is increasingly rising to the top of corporate agendas and becoming more mainstream.

RobecoSAM offers insights highlighting opportunities and risks deriving from economic, environmental and social trends and developments that have an impact on the competitive position of companies in each of the 59 industries

Not only are the top 15% of the companies from each industry included in The Sustainability Yearbook, but they are also classified into three categories: RobecoSAM Gold Class, RobecoSAM Silver Class and RobecoSAM Bronze Class. In addition, the top performing company from each industry is named the RobecoSAM Industry Leader.

Furthermore, in order to be included in the Yearbook, companies must achieve a score within 30% of their Industry Leader’s score.

In addition to the companies’ sustainability scores derived from the CSA, a qualitative screen based on RobecoSAM’s Media & Stakeholder Analysis (MSA) is also applied to determine eligibility for inclusion in The Sustainability Yearbook. The MSA is based on an examination of media coverage and publicly available stakeholder information provided by RepRisk ESG Business Intelligence and evaluates a company’s response to critical sustainability issues that may arise during the year. This process aligns the Yearbook’s methodology with any decision by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index Committee to exclude a company from the DJSI, which is also based on the MSA. 

Corporate Actions

Corporate Actions RobecoSAM monitors corporate actions throughout the year. In-line with the treatment of corporate actions for the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices, RobecoSAM will review corporate actions on a case-by-case basis and apply a consistent methodology. For mergers or acquisitions where the merged/acquired company represents 33% or more of the free-float market capitalization of the combined entity, a merged score will be used for the surviving entity. The merged score is calculated as the market cap-weighted score of the individual entities prior to the merger/acquisition. For companies below this threshold, no merged score will be used and the original score of the acquiring/surviving company will be used.

If a company is delisted as a result of a corporate action prior to the end of October, it will no longer be eligible for inclusion in The Sustainability Yearbook, given that the entity no longer exists. Companies with a merged score are marked in the Yearbook.

Changes in company names are reviewed periodically and the names of all companies have been updated to the best of RobecoSAM’s knowledge at the time of printing. Name changes occurring after this date may not be reflected in the Yearbook.

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