The Laureus Sport for Good Index celebrates companies that deliver social or ecological change through sport ©Getty Images

Laureus has unveiled the first global index dedicated to celebrating brands that have the most impact in delivering social or ecological change through sport.

The inaugural Laureus Sport for Good Index is founded in partnership with sports media and events business SportsPro.

It features a selection of the world's most impactful companies and was launched to coincide with COP26, the United Nations' Climate Change Conference currently taking place in Glasgow in Scotland.

The first index features four renewable energy companies, Ecotricity, Octopus Energy, ENGIE, and Renewable Energy Group, which are recognised for using their global sporting partnerships as platforms to showcase their commitment to becoming carbon neutral and promote renewable energy technologies in wider society.

"The Laureus Sport for Good Index is the first of its kind to recognise the positive work carried out by some of sport’s biggest investors across our society," said Ned Willis, managing director of Laureus.

"At Laureus, we believe that sport can change the world for the better and our aim is to inspire more companies around the world to take action by celebrating the brands that are making a true difference today.

"Sport as a powerful tool to connect people has the capacity to drive innovation and change beyond the sporting arena.

"As the world of sport and leading global brands continue to be driven by purpose, we hope the Laureus Sport for Good Index helps us build a platform for a more equitable society moving forwards."

The judging process is points-based and covers seven criteria.

Each company’s impact through sports-related corporate social responsible and environmental, social, and corporate governance activities are judged in addition to innovation and creativity during purpose-led campaigns, commitment to environmental, social, and corporate governance, and level of investment in ‘sport for good’ causes.

The extent to which each company's sports investments align with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, their commercial viability and an overall assessment of their commitment towards building an equitable society, reducing sport’s ecological footprint, and growing the sport’s industry’s economy through sport for good campaigns are also key criteria.

"At Laureus we believe in the power of sport to inspire and drive social change, and sport holds the power to help people and companies approach what they do in an entirely different way.

"It is great that brands are doing this by adopting sport’s influence and is helping to change people’s views towards issues such as the climate crisis, as well as the social and economic divide in our communities," said Laureus Academy member and Britain's eleven-time Paralympic gold medallist Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson.

"The Laureus Sport for Good Index is an important step in recognising best practice adopted by brands who use sport to communicate, if we are able to persuade people and brands to start thinking and behaving differently towards the impact they have on the world, we can then hope to unite them in the fight against climate change and to address the societal issues faced - particularly by young people - in the modern day."