Corporate Responsibility Magazine announced their list of the top 100 corporate citizens yesterday, Wednesday, March 2, in a ceremony at the NYSE.
The list (PDF) was based on a consolidated metric that included the following categories, shown below with their respective weightings:
The scores ranged from 46.245 to 176.53 for the top 100 with the lowest the score being the best. Below are the top ten with their respective scores. The complete list can be found here.
This was not a voluntary survey. All companies in the Russell 1000 were evaluated by IW Financial, whether they wanted to be or not, using publicly available information. Companies were given the opportunity to correct any errors in the data.
More details on the methodology used, which is based on some 320 separate metrics, can be found here.
Despite the fact that climate and environment constituted a combined 36% of the entire rating, a number of energy companies made the top fifty, including: Con Ed (17), PG&E (22), Chevron (36), Occidental Petroleum (38), Southern Company (41) and Hess Corporation (43). Several companies had yellow caution cards including: 3M Co., Johnson& Johnson (20), Occidental Petroleum, Dell Inc. (47), JP Morgan Chase & Co. (54). The yellows card meant some action was pending which could potentially influence the score. Three companies received red cards for which they were expelled. These were: Allergan (for misbranding Botox), Exxon-Mobil (for groundwater contamination in NYC), and Pfizer- (for promoting off-label uses of Bextra).
The list, which was unveiled in a ceremony at the NY Stock Exchange at the closing bell on Wed. March 2, 2011 revealed an unprecedented level of transparency. Overall, according to Elliot Clark, CEO of SharedXpertise Media, which publishes CR Magazine and produces the Commit!Forum, the top 100 demonstrated a 5% year-over-year improvement compared to last year in the overall rating. These same companies outperformed the S&P 500 by 4% over the same time period.
“The market for transparency is expanding rapidly,” said Dirk Olin, Editor & Publisher of CR Magazine Just like the dashboard on my hybrid affects my driving behavior through real time feedback. There is a competitive advantage that these companies are discovering, in excelling in the transparency market and it’s really as simple as that. Transparency pays.”
“Compliance is not the same as responsibility,” said Clark, when asked why are they asking for more than what is required by law. “There’s a difference between not speeding and driving safely. We’re trying to create a voluntary standard. If all companies aspire to do better at the same time, that would be a much better world. So, in creating achievable standards for self-regulation, we can start to get companies to actually become better citizens themselves and then raise those standards year after year after year. We’re seeing that with the improved scores, the rankings get better and the standard deviations get narrower, we’re seeing companies become, based on our definitional construct, better citizens.”
RP Siegel is the co-author of the eco-thriller Vapor Trails. Like airplanes, we all leave behind a vapor trail. And though we can easily see others’, we rarely see our own.
Follow RP Siegel on Twitter.