By Marcus Leach

A new report published by the World Economic Forum (WEF) has highlighted the sixteen 'greenest' companies from throughout the developing world.

The companies identified in the New Sustainability Champions are those best showing how to grow profits, at the same time as actively tackling environmental and social challenges.

From countries as diverse as Costa Rica, Egypt and China the companies proved that even those that are not 'green' businesses have sustainability credentials.

The report, co-written by management consultants Boston Consulting Group (BCG), examined 1,000 companies in the developing world.

"While demonstrating superior industry performance and operational efficiency, the New Sustainability Champions innovate to overcome the real constraints that they face," said Knut Haanaes, a BCG partner.

"They proactively engage with all stakeholder groups and positively influence their environments.

"As a result, they generate steady profitable growth and are role models for their regions and industries."

Included in the list was Filipino firm Manila Water, a utility company using community partnerships, watershed management, and flexible payment options to boost access to clean water.

Kenya's Equity Bank also made the final list for pioneering mobile banking in its nation's rural areas.

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