A look into the 2023 Fortune 500 list highlights that oil and gas, energy, and mobility are key industries moving up the rankings and experiencing real growth. Companies in these three industries have something in common: they’re accelerating the transition to sustainable and cleaner alternatives through rapid innovation. And fast movement in these industries is sorely needed right now. 

With global temperatures pushing past the dire 1.5 degrees celsius marker much faster than expected, these three industries have to transform quickly. Green efforts matter more than ever. Smoke from wildfires in Canada recently choked the American East Coast and even into the South. No one is immune from climate change and the companies making the most moves on the Fortune list this year are proving that sustainability efforts and corporate growth are inextricably linked. 

But a number of companies still have their heads in the sand: when Norges Bank, one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds, recently assessed the net zero pledges of their 9,000 portfolio companies and concluded that only 17% of them were credible

Companies that are moving up on this year’s Fortune 500 list are already working on cleantech–in fact they’re leading the pack. They are investing heavily in venture building, venture investing, and R&D to develop renewable energy sources and reduce dependence on fossil fuels. 

These companies are harnessing technology advancements in renewable energy, artificial intelligence, smart grids, and autonomous vehicles. Being on the forefront and creating new technologies has led to efficient and environmentally friendly solutions that will have a positive impact beyond the bottom line.

On the rise: Goodyear, Halliburton and Schneider Electric

  • Goodyear went up 18 spots to hit #191 on the Fortune 500 list. The company has a venture investment portfolio with 14 startups and has incubated countless of its own new ventures. The tire leader is creating “bio tires” with 70% sustainable-material content that will launch in late 2023.
  • Halliburton rose 44 spots on Fortune’s list this year. They have worked to accelerate cleantech startups through Halliburton Labs. Their numerous cohorts of international startups have been quick to make an impact. For example, Nanotench, a company from cohort one, initially secured $5M in seed funding, and went on to win a 2022 CES award and raise $64M.
  • Schneider Electric rose 26 spots on the list and has made 40 investments through their corporate venture capital arm, SE Ventures, and incubated 10 startups. The most recent is Grain Ecosystem, a new venture they spun out that offers a disruptive, science-backed solution to the complex and fraught carbon offset market. Schenider has listed as a Global 100 most sustainable company for 12 years in a row, and in 2021 was named the most sustainable company in the world.

How are these companies able to grow so fast in an era of high CEO turnover and rapid inflation? They devote resources and talent to organic growth through venture investing and building. They don’t just lean into their most successful product lines, they try to stay two steps ahead by building and investing in and launching startups that will grow to be the most profitable business units years in the future. 

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