Pauliina Murphy, Engagement Director at World Benchmarking Alliance, says the alliance is using peer pressure to push 2,000 businesses across the world to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The World Benchmarking Alliance is a not-for-profit organisation which is measuring 2,000 global companies on their sustainability impact.

The WBA said the chosen companies have the most influence over the world's ability to move to a more sustainable future. 

15 Irish headquartered companies are the list of 2,000, including Kerry Group, CRH, DCC, Total Produce and Ryanair. 

Other companies include ABN Amro, Allianz, Bank of China, Berkshire Hathaway, Barclays, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Stena, IAG, Lloyds Banking Group, Royal Bank of Scotland, Airbus, Starbucks, BP, Easyjet, Nestle, Nissan and SSE.

The list also includes Tesla, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Penneys owner Associated British Foods, Coca Cola, McDonalds, Pernod Ricard and Tesco. 

On Monday, the alliance published the list of 2,000 companies and "put them on notice" to start meeting the UN's sustainability goals. 

Ms Murphy says that while the SDGs are a roadmap for all of us, they are actually written for governments, adding that businesses have a "curiosity" about how to translate them into their world.

The WBA is looking at businesses through seven systems, including energy and e-commerce, the impact of food and agriculture production and digital inclusion. Ms Murphy said they are really looking at the company's core business to see what will be measured. 

Ms Murphy said the most influential companies around the world are on the WBA's list in terms of sustainability - whether that is negative or positive. They are included due to their dominance in their markets and their supply chains, how they influence governments and their networking capabilities.

The companies will be ranked according to their progress and Ms Murphy said the WBA will also be highlighting the laggards in the hope that it can encourage a race to the top. 

This time next year the WBA will have ranked the first 500 companies and is is committed to doing all of the 2,000 companies by 2023, she added.