The previous rankings have shown that companies from a wide range of industries play a central role in green technologies. There are many electrical engineering and technology companies in the top 100, but also many car manufacturers and chemical companies. There are renewable energy companies with many world class patents, such as wind turbine manufacturer Vestas, but also some big oil companies that are increasingly diversifying into green technologies.
Investing in oil/gas companies or even traditional car manufacturers is often controversial. Many investors criticise the “green washing” of these companies, i.e. the fact that they promote a “green” image through PR measures, but in reality are not sufficiently committed to climate protection. On the other hand, some argue that the practice of “divestment” from companies with high CO2 emissions is less effective, and instead advocate that large investors exert more influence on these companies to push for greener corporate policies.
Regardless of who is right in this debate, it is of course an interesting question as to which companies are focusing their research on green technologies and at the same time have the best technology portfolios. Therefore, in addition to the previous evaluations, we have created a ranking taking into account only those companies for which patents in green technologies account for more than half of the total patent portfolio. To calculate this “green share”, all patents were taken into account, not just world-class patents, as these provide a better overview of the companies’ overall research activities.
In this ranking of the best green companies, Chinese railway manufacturer CRRC (922 world class patents) tops the list, followed by South Korean battery manufacturer LG Chem. Siemens Energy (9th) and Vestas (11th) are the best European companies.