Apples to Apples

America’s most transparent large-cap companies—sector by sector.

By the Editors

Welcome to the second annual set of “Industry Sector Best Corporate Citizens” lists. 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.

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 then narrow those to 10 and apply the same review process to the companies on those lists.

The methodology collects 324 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. Nonreporters in these numerical cases rank worse than the worst numerical respondent in any group.

We then tally total scores from the collected data elements and apply weights to each category to account for different relative values:

Climate Change      16.5%
Employee Relations 19.5%
Environment             19.5%
Financial                    12.5%
Governance               7.0%
Human Rights           16.0%
Philanthropy               9.0%

Those total scores are rank ordered, highest to lowest, to generate our industry sector rankings. The entire process, including the weightings, is overseen by the by our methodology committee, whose members include CR practitioners in consultation with academics, NGO representatives, investors, and regulators. Which would mean little if it weren’t transparent. But it is. For details on the weightings, the data collection process, and analysis, please visit and click on the “100 Best Corporate Citizens” tab on the left menu.

— The Editors

Click here to view the Industry Sector Best Corporate Citizens lists.

Posted January 4, 2013 in Compliance & Governance