French multinational Dassault Systèmes has been ranked first in the 2018 Global 100 Top 100 Most Sustainable Corporations index, compiled by Corporate Knights.

Dassault Systèmes is a software company that develops 3D design, 3D packaging design, and product lifecycle management software, while the Corporate Knights Global 100 index is recognised as a corporate sustainability analysis source.

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Each year Corporate Knights evaluates businesses worldwide and ranks them based on several factors including environmental, social, financial and innovation capacity, and, starting from this year, the sustainability value of a company’s product.

This year’s winner, Dassault Systèmes, has climbed up to the first spot after ending up 11th last year. This was possible thanks to a strong female representation on the board, a relatively small pay gap between the CEO and the average workers and the fact that Dassault Systèmes earns a quarter of its revenues from eco-friendly products and services.

According to Dassault Systèmes’ vice chairman and chief executive Bernard Charlès, this year’s ranking is recognition of the company’s effective sustainability strategy. This consisted of the reduction of the corporate’s environmental footprint, developing the workforce of the future and redefining new business models in the industry.

Charlès said: “Dassault Systèmes is honoured to be recognised as number one by Corporate Knights for our vision of harmonising product, nature and life and for implementing this vision in everything that we do.

“In the virtual world, we can simulate and evaluate impacts before producing the product itself. What is more, virtual worlds help people imagine differently; they extend and improve the real world,” he continued.

As well as packaging, Dassault Systèmes operates in several industries and is known for the Solar Impulse solar-powered aircraft and providing the virtual reality software used by the winners of the Hyperloop Pod Competition.

Charlès explained the role of the company’s renowned 3DEXPERIENCE Platform, which, he said, “enables innovators to play a major role in inventing sustainability models. We help them create things in ways that have never been used before, just as we help the workforce of the future learn in ways that have never been applied before.”

The Global 100 runner-up is Finnish refining and marketing company Neste Oil, which has started directing more than 90% of its investments into bio-based materials.