CSR Rankings Revisited... Again

A new season, a new CSR ranking.  The other day, Justmeans released its Global 1000, a list produced in conjunction with the relatively new ESG ratings firm CRD Analytics.  As with the various CSR rankings we have explored in this blog in the past, the list contains many of the usual suspects.  So what distinguishes this selection from those made by CRO, Ethisphere, Corporate Knights, legacy KLD and legacy Innovest products?  And where methodologies aren’t transparent, how far can we go in deducing how criteria for this list differs from other CSR rankings we have explored in the past?

Let’s start with the typical rankings comparison.  The Global 1000 embraces some of the usual CSR darlings including Johnson Controls, HP, Procter & Gamble, Baxter, GE, Dell, Accenture, Intel, and Texas Instruments, as well as additional usual suspects like Agilent, Applied Materials, and Wisconsin Energy.  In addition, it concurs with Newsweek and CRO (but nobody else) that Colgate-Palmolive, State Street, Citigroup, JP Morgan, Abbott, Bristol Myers Squibb, ITT, 3M, and IBM deserve recognition as well.  The Global 1000 also agrees with Corporate Knights and RiskMetrics Group--- the two groups that also develop lists that are global rather than U.S.-focused--- that L’Oreal, Inditex, Diageo, Enbridge, Intesa Sanpaolo, Glaxosmithkline, Roche, Geberit, Siemens, SAP, and Iberdrola Renovables are worthy of a shout out.

So much for lists.  More interesting, however, is the Global 1000’s heavy weighting towards certain sectors that seem to receive less recognition in the other ranking systems.  Of the 43 companies in the Global 1000 NOT recognized by any of the other CSR rankings I examined, 18 were listed as companies within financials and an additional 5 in information technology.  In fact, 26 of the Global 1000’s top 100 were financials, 17 were IT companies, and 14 were in health care.  Additional analysis will be required to verify whether this bias towards companies providing services rather than products is standard but my gut says it’s not.

But assuming this observation is on the mark, what does it say about the Global 1000 methodology, which is outlined in broad strokes only on the Justmeans website?  Does it indicate an uncharacteristically high weight placed on some aspect of the financial dimension of the companies CRD Analytics is evaluating?  Or is there some other factor at play in the weightings?  Again, future CSR rankings posts are in order to answer these questions, so stay tuned!

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