AT&T has landed at top spot on CR Magazine's 14th annual 100Best Corporate Citizens List, beating out other top Russell 1000 large-capitalization companies on merits including human rights and corporate governance.
Rounding out the top 10 on the new list: Mattel, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eaton Corp, Intel, Gap, Hasbro, Merck & Co., Campbell Soup Co. and Coca-Cola.
The ranking crunches 298 data points of disclosure and performance measures across seven categories: environment, climate change, employee relations, human rights, governance, finance and philanthropy.
Notably, 26 companies on the 2013 list were not on the 2012 list, while 11 companies have appeared on the list every year since 2007. For those that were bestowed the honor, many were quick to highlight the significance of employee participation to the success of the company's initiatives.
“A good corporate citizen is one that demonstrates its good faith and genuine value to all stakeholders by acting transparently,” Dirk Olin, Editor-in-Chief of CR MagazinetoldForbes. “There is always, and must be, a place for confidentiality and proprietary trade information. But a presumption of openness shows all those affected by corporate behavior, whether internally or externally, that the company in question has, in aggregate at least, nothing to hide.”
Here is a sampling of the 2013 winners across size, product and accomplishment:
This year, the telecommunications company partnered with the Carbon War Room on a study on solutions to reduce barriers of Machine to Machine technologies; launched a cooling tower with the Environmental Defense Fund, participated in Skip the Bag, where customers in California generated donations for the Nature Conservancy by opting to skip a bag at retail stores; raised consumer awareness about waste reduction through Connect for Good and Causes.com; and partnered with America's Promise Alliance (APA) during their Building a Grad Nation Summit, sharing good news on the nation's high school graduation rate projected to reach 90 percent by 2020.
Beth Shiroishi, VP Sustainability and Philanthropy for AT&T told Forbes, “We’re honored to be recognized for our progress and comprehensive approach to sustainability. We’re continuously learning, but know that the full impact of sustainability comes when it is integrated across the company operations and benefits both the community and our shareholders."
AT&T has continued its efforts for human rights with the introduction of its LGBTQ-positive "Live Proud" campaign, which will support The Trevor Project, a leader in suicide prevention.
The Hershey Company
The Hershey Company organizes its citizenship efforts into four pillars: Marketplace, Environment, Workplace and Community. Initiatives include their 21st Century Cocoa Plan, which is a roadmap for all of Hershey’s cocoa programs worldwide to grow sustainable cocoa for the next century; $300 million to expand and modernize its West Hershey plant into a zero-waste-to-landfill facility; and its Manufacturing Apprenticeship Program. The company donated more than $9 million to charitable causes in 2012 and compiled a record-breaking 200,000 hours of employee local community service.
“We are thrilled with this recognition; it is a tribute to our employees around the world who work each and every day in a socially responsible way,” said Michele Buck, SVP, Chief Growth Officer in a press release. “‘Doing well by doing good’ is part of our company’s DNA, and as we grow around the world, the sustainability of our global community remains fundamental to our business strategy.”
Hasbro's efforts have included reducing packaging and the phasing-out of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in packaging; producing board games and puzzles with vegetable-based printing inks and aqueous coatings in printing processes for game and puzzle components, boxes and instructions; continued compliance with the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership; product safety standards resulting in no product recalls in recent years; and impacting more than three million children through philanthropic programs and more than 20,000 hours of employee service in local communities.
Campbell Soup Company
Making the list for the third year in a row, Campbell’s sustainability and social responsibility focusis in four areas: Consumers, Planet, Employees and Community. "At Campbell, we are focused on delivering business value by reducing our carbon footprint, promoting a sustainable environment and making a meaningful contribution to the workplace, marketplace and community," said Dave Stangis, Campbell's VP Public Affairs and Corporate Responsibility.
For Johnson Controls, the company's track record on sustainability dates back to 1885 and the invention of the first electric room thermostat. Serving more than 150 countries, the company has worked towards providing solutions to optimize energy and operational efficiencies of buildings and develop advanced batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles.
For the fourth consecutive year, DuPont, one of the first companies to establish environmental goals more than 20 years ago, made the list despite the challenges of keeping up with social and environmental demands.
"Societal expectations for corporations like DuPont continue to grow and change. We believe that engaging with others in order to understand and then embed their expectations into our business strategies is critically important to our overall success," stated DuPont VP and Chief Sustainability Officer Linda J. Fisher. "We are now focused on the big global challenges of food security, energy and protection and working collaboratively with key stakeholders globally to bring new solutions to the market."