What exactly makes a company a good “corporate citizen?” In order for Corporate Responsibility Magazine to determine the answer to this question, its research team considers and documents 298 data points pertaining to seven different categories: environment, climate change, employee relations, human rights, governance, finance, and philanthropy.
The result is a list of the top 100 corporations that have done the best across the board over the past year. The newly-released 2014 list features the following companies in the top spots:
1. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.
2. Johnson & Johnson
3. Gap Inc.
4. Microsoft Corporation
5. Mattel Inc.
6. Weyerhaeuser Co.
7. Ecolab, Inc.
8. Intel Corp.
9. Coca-Cola Co.
10. Walt Disney Co.
Some interesting statistics regarding this year’s list include: 23 companies are on the 2014 list that were not on the 2013 list; 17 companies have been on the list every year since 2008; 33 companies rose an average of 20 ranks; and 42 companies fell an average of 17 ranks.
It’s also worth noting that Bristol Meyers Squibb, while taking the the top spot, has also been dealt a “yellow card,” meaning it’s in danger of being removed from the list.
This is due to ongoing mass-tort litigation. Since 2008, multiple plaintiffs filed suits against the company, claiming that toxic chemicals contaminated a company site in New Brunswick, N.J. and caused injuries to residents of the surrounding neighborhoods. The contamination occurred earlier in the site’s history, and BMS has been cleaning up the site under New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection supervision.
The only company to receive a “red card” and be removed from this list this year was PG&E, which otherwise would have been number 75. The reason for the company’s removal was the legal fallout from the 2010 gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno, CA. that killed eight people and destroyed multiple homes. While PG&E agreed to a $565 million settlement with 347 people affected by the explosion, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) recently issued a $14.35 million fine, alleging that PG&E had sent the commission incorrect safety information about a gas pipeline.
(Insert “Erin Brockovich” reference here).