According to the respected financial publication Barron's, 2020 "was a year marked by a public health catastrophe, a plunge in economic output, and widespread social unrest—crisis upon crisis that ultimately challenged individuals and institutions to find their conscience. And American companies stepped up." According to a new Barron's ranking, one of the best of these companies is Amgen.
Barron's list of the "100 Most Sustainable Companies Right Now" was published on February 14 and reflects a growing movement to measure companies on more than just their financial performance.
"Sustainability means many things," Barron's writes, "but companies usually are judged on a series of environmental, social, and corporate governance metrics, known as ESG, that measure how a company's managers make decisions and plan for the future in areas beyond profitability."
This is not a fringe movement. Barron's notes that sustainability-based investments now exceed $17 trillion – up more than 40% from 2018 and representing about one-third of all assets under management in the U.S.; One of the most vocal proponents of sustainability is Larry Fink, the CEO of BlackRock, Amgen's single largest institutional shareholder.
In 2021, for the first time ever, Amgen has made ESG one of the corporate goals against which we will measure our performance, along with more traditional metrics such as delivering on our sales and net income commitments and advancing our pipeline.
The Barron's ranking looked at more than 230 ESG indicators, including workplace diversity and greenhouse-gas emissions. The 100 companies on the Barron's list have outperformed the S&P 500 index in each of the past three years on a market-weighted basis.