CR Magazine has announced the 19th annual 100 Best Corporate Citizens list, recognizing the standout ESG performance of public companies across the US. The list was revealed in a Facebook Live broadcast.
The Top 10:
- Microsoft Corporation
- Accenture plc
- Owens Corning
- Intel Corp.
- Hasbro, Inc.
- Altria Group Inc.
- Cisco Systems, Inc.
- Ecolab, Inc.
- Johnson & Johnson
- NVIDIA Corp
See the full list here
Several major themes emerged from this year’s list:
- Competition for millennials and Gen Z workforce. Millennials have a reputation as the "job-hopping" generation, and brands taking stands are cooler than companies solely in business to turn a profit. In 2016, a Gallup poll revealed that 21% of millennials said they changed jobs within the past year (more than three times the number of non-millennials who reported the same), and 60% are open to new opportunities. Research last year from Cone Communications demonstrated how Gen Z cares about purpose-driven companies.
- Investor interest in ESG factors. When BlackRock CEO Larry Fink issued an ultimatum in January 2018 to public company CEOs to be better corporate citizens, it confirmed that ESG investing is here to stay. Since then, hedge funds managers and activist investors are speaking outin support of investing in companies committed to sustainability.
- Jumps in ranking attributed to deeper integration between sustainability program and core business. Among those making big steps up in scores: Owens Corning, Becton, Dickinson And Co. Medtronic, IBM, and CVS.
- Biotech firms are well represented: Biogen, Becton, Dickinson And Co., Medtronic, and Edwards Life Sciences.
- Apparel companies are investing in sustainability: VF Corp, PVH, GAP, and Nike.
- Food companies scored well: General Mills, Hormel, and Pepsico.
- Many industries performed well because of compliance: especially the finance sector (banks).
To arrive at its ranking, the 2018 100 Best Corporate Citizens list
analyzed 260 ESG data points of disclosure and performance measures from every Russell 1000 company in seven categories: environment, climate change, employee relations, human rights, governance, finance, and philanthropy and community support.
Companies were evaluated using publicly available records from their websites, annual reports, shareholder calls, media interviews, NGOs and government documents, not from private self-reports to analysts. Research was conducted by third-party accreditor ISS Corporate Solutions and there was no fee for companies to be assessed.
“CR Magazine is proud to present the only ESG ranking list that doesn’t rely on self-reporting,” said CR Magazine Publisher Dave Armon. “Each year, the 100 Best Corporate Citizens ranking measures the success of the Brands Taking Stands movement by celebrating the most successful, most transparent companies that report on their responsible practices.”
“The 100 Best ranking demonstrates that a company is dedicating resources towards its corporate responsibility and sustainability efforts,” explains Jen Boynton, Editor of CR Magazine. “Public disclosure allows its stakeholders to gain greater insights into a company’s business practices.”