The Best Corporate Citizens by Individual Category

The 12 highest-ranked companies in each of our measurement categories
By The Editors
Each year, Corporate Responsibility Magazine engages its research partners in an in-depth process to rank each Russell 1000 company according to its performance on 303 data points related to CR.
These data points are gathered from publicly available information, and thus our lists – 100 Best Corporate Citizens and 100 Best Corporate Citizens by Industry Sector: Sustainable Buyer’s Guide—measure transparency, accountability, and business success. We also run another list to recognize those companies that are improving the fastest as compared to their peers –the Most Improved Corporate Citizens. And now we announce a new list: the category winners.
The 303 data points we measure are arranged according to seven categories of business performance:
• corporate governance
• philanthropy
• human rights
• employee relations
• climate change
• environmental performance, and
• financial performance.
We are announcing six category winners, each category but financial performance. We have excluded finance from these winners for several reasons, but mostly because CR Magazine measures financial performance within the context of corporate responsibility practices. Essentially, almost anyone can invest heavily in and run effective CR practices, but the key is to do so while running a successful business. A financial-measurement- only list moves the focus off CR practices, and thus would be outside our publication’s mission.
The remaining six category lists are well within our mission and central to it. We have selected the best dozen companies in each category. In some cases, they are companies high up on our 100 Best Corporate Citizens list. In others, we have companies that have proven to excel in one or more categories and thus should receive recognition for those individual achievements.
Red Cards/Yellow Cards
As with our other lists, we have issued red cards and yellow cards. Red cards and yellow cards are issued to companies that make the 100 Best and Category Winner lists despite some self-caused reputational damage, which usually appear as a pending or completed administrative or official legal sanction. A yellow card is usually for a pending action and the company is merely flagged; a red card is a completed sanction and rises to such a serious level that the company is expelled for one year.
This year, the red-carded companies were the following: Hewlett-Packard, which would have been No. 7 on the Employee Relations list and No. 6 on the Corporate Governance list; and the following, all on the Corporate Governance list: Avon Products (No. 1), MasterCard (No. 3), Bank of America (No. 4), Citigroup (No. 5) and Duke Energy (No. 11). Hewlett-Packard and Avon Products ran afoul of anti-corruption practices laws in their overseas operations. The three banks all received sanctions related to the 2008-09 financial crisis; as the sanctions came down this year and became completed actions, they are expelled this year. Duke Energy had some environmental spills in 2014.
The yellow cards were the following: Sprint, Inc. and General Motors. Sprint faces a lawsuit from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for an alleged practice known as cramming, illegally allowing third parties to bill mobile customers. GM was given a yellow card related to the ongoing investigations of its use of defective ignition switches.
For details on how we measure the 100 Best, please visit and click on the “100 Best Corporate Citizens” tab on the left menu.
Posted August 11, 2015 in 25115