2015 Sustainable Buyer’s Guide: Most Responsible Companies by Sector

cr industry sector

The most transparent large-cap companies

By The Editors

This is CR Magazine’s annual set of “Industry Sector Best Corporate Citizens” lists. It serves as a buyer’s guide for establishing that your supply chain/value chain is comprised of the most responsible, sustainable and transparent companies—and this guide helps ensure you are creating shared value when strategic opportunities arise.

This list is the Top 12 in 10 industry categories, and they are listed in alphabetical order. The actual order of results—the 10 individual industry winners as well as the remainder in the order each company finished—will be announced during the COMMIT!Forum. We congratulate all the companies on this list.

For these compilations, we use the same methodology as the “100 Best Corporate Citizens List,” with one additional data slice. The Best Corporate Citizens database comprises publicly available data from Russell 1000 companies collected and analyzed by IW Financial, a Portland, Maine- based financial analysis firm serving the environment, social, and governance (ESG) investment community.

For the “Industry Sector Best Corporate Citizens” lists, we identify the industry sectors with high representation among the Russell 1000, our starting universe for our database. We narrow those to 10 and apply the same review process to the companies on those sector lists as we do for the “100 Best Corporate Citizens List.”

The methodology collects 303 data elements in seven categories: climate change, employee relations, environment, financial, governance, human rights, and philanthropy. Data in each category takes one of two forms, true/false or numerical. “True” counts as a positive value; “False” as zero value. Numerical values are compared with all other companies’ numerical answers in order to generate a ranking. Non-reporters in these numerical cases rank worse than worst numerical respondent in any group.

We tally total scores from the collected data elements for the seven categories and apply weights to each category to account for different relative values: Those total scores are rank ordered, highest to lowest, to generate our industry sector rankings. The entire process, including the weightings, is overseen by our methodology committee, whose members include CR practitioners in consultation with academics, NGO representatives, investors, and regulators.

This would mean little if it weren’t transparent. But it is. For details on the weightings, the data collection process, and analysis, please visit www.thecro.com and click on the “100 Best Corporate Citizens” tab in the center of the navigation menu near the top of the page.

— The Editors

Yellow/red cards

Each year, based on the numbers, some companies make the Best 100 List by Sector despite some self-caused reputational damage, which usually appears as a pending or completed administrative or official legal sanction. To address those kinds of issues, we’ve turned to a two-level system akin to that used in soccer—the yellow card for a caution, the red card for expulsion.

A yellow card icon next to a company’s listing indicates a caution — a significant but pending investigation/situation initiated in the research year by a recognized authority. Yellow carded companies remain on the list without impact on their ranking unless and until the investigation/situation is resolved.

Red cards recognize a significant adverse event or judgment in the research year against the company, an event so widely recognized that no reasonable person would expect to find the company on a listing of the best corporate citizens. These companies are excluded from the list for at least one year, and an explanation is included with the full listing.

Click here to view the 2015 Sustainable Buyer’s Guide: Most Responsible Companies by Sector

Posted September 25, 2015 in 100 Best Corporate Citizens