As they look around and analyze reality with both their citizen and consumer minds, people expect businesses to act responsibly on issues that matter. They ask themselves which companies are more sustainable? Which companies are doing the best job of protecting the environment and reducing their carbon footprint? What are the 100 companies more actively working on social justice and considering issues like fair wages or work-life-balance policies?

2020 Just 100: America’s Top Companies

In the midst of today’s environmental, social, technological and humanitarian problems, many actors are expected to take a stake at helping solve them. One of them is businesses, which presumably have corporate responsibility (CSR) strategies.

To help answer these and other related questions, the nonprofit Just Capital, together with Forbes, developed a comprehensive analysis. They evaluated and ranked the largest 922 largest publicly-traded companies in the United States of America.

The results achieved consisted of 368,000 data points from public reports, company surveys, and crowd-sourced repositories. This data was then weighted considering what (a poll from) 95,000 Americans told was for them the most important aspects of business behavior.

Ultimately, the way companies treat workers and customers weighted 35% and 24%, respectively, of the total score of each company. How corporations support the community was worth 18% and their work to reduce their environmental impact got a share of 11%. Finally, there was an extra 11% for how businesses adopted ethical leadership behaviors.

America’s Top 10 Most Sustainable And Responsible Companies

According to the 2020 Just 100 analysis, America’s 10 best corporate actors are:

  1. Microsoft
  3. Apple
  4. Intel
  5. Salesforce
  6. Alphabet
  7. Anthem
  8. Paypal
  9. Procter & Gamble
  10. VMware

Among the top 100 companies, there are companies like General Motors (18th), IBM (20th), Accenture (25th), Visa (38th), Etsy (53rd) Pepsi (57th), Ford (67th), Amazon (75th), Starbucks (93rd) or Marriott (100th).

Although the ranking has 830 companies plus the bottom 10%, we’re focusing next on trying to understand what’s so special about the 3 companies that make the top of the list.

Number 1 Microsoft: Most Sustainable And Responsible Company In America

With the highest score of 78,2/100, the Redmond head-quartered tech company that employs over 144,000 employees worldwide sits at the top. Microsoft is especially strong in the way it serves its workers, communities, and the environment. 

Microsoft And The Environment

Regarding the environment, Microsoft has been carbon-neutral on its operations since 2012. Because it taxes its internal metric-tons of carbon emissions, it has a carbon budget to spend on environmental progress initiatives. It pays grants of $50 million to partners working on AI and machine learning tools (the called AI for Earth project) so they can collectively address issues regarding ocean protection, agriculture or biodiversity. They work actively, using life cycle assessments and value stream analysis to increase product and packaging resource efficiency. Most recently, they announced a series of interventions with the goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030 and offsetting all their impacts since 1975 by 2050.

Microsoft And Its Workers

Microsoft has been working on closing the gap in computer science by connecting classroom teachers with tech-industry volunteers to create sustainable CS programs. On transparency, the company belongs to the 4% of companies in the Russell 1000 that publicly share information about their workers’ occupation, gender, and ethnicity. And its employees can enjoy perks such as child care discounts, assistance on tuition expenses, a stock plan or health insurance.

Microsoft And The Community

Apart from having co-created and participating in the Ai and Ethics in Engineering and Research Committee, Microsoft has AI principles that all its AI-related products need to comply with. apart from cybersecurity procedures. The company encourages its employees not only to donate to impactful nonprofits worldwide but also to volunteer by giving their time and energy to meaningful causes. Moreover, the company’s human rights across the supply chain are also carefully watched.

Number 2 NVIDIA: Most Sustainable And Responsible Company In America

NVIDIA designs graphic processing units for the gaming and professional markets. They also make integrated electronic units for the mobile computing and automotive markets. The company scores especially well on how it invests in its employees and how it works to reduce its environmental impact.

NVIDIA And Its Workers

Among the main highlights of NVIDIA are its very generous medical plan, the way it supports parents with generous paid parental leave and the way it works on D&I (diversity and inclusion) by recruiting candidates from key diversity events.

NVIDIA And The Community

In 2019, the company donated over $2.69 million to support widespread NGOs addressing issues like disaster responses or fighting against cancer. NVIDIA also addresses the negative impact of its business operations on human rights by guaranteeing that it is 100% Responsible Minerals Assurance Process-compliant on its processing facilities.

NVIDIA And The Environment

By securing clean power at several data centers, reducing its emissions per employees (7% between FY18 and FY19), decarbonizing its supply chain (it asks suppliers to share their energy and emissions and go green) or by designing very efficient units, NVIDIA is doing a great job on the environment too.

Number 3 Apple: Most Sustainable And Responsible Company In America

It’s hard not to know the company that revolutionized the world of smartphones – at the time lead by Steve Jobs. From the iPod and the iPhone to the iPad, the MacBook laptops or the Apple Watch, Apple designs, develops and sells consumer electronics with its iOS software.

When it comes to community support, Apple has been helping schools in need of devices and educational support. Like Microsoft, Apple’s employees also donate money to nonprofits and are allowed to take time out of work to volunteer. Across the company’s supply-chain, efforts have also been made to adopt more responsible practices on what concerns suppliers and partners. In this way, issues like safe working conditions or fair wages seem to be properly managed in the company’s agenda.

Concerning the environment, among the company’s main achievements are its global facilities: 100% powered by renewable energy; its carbon footprint, which decreased 35% since to 2015; its use of recycled aluminum coming from old devices and further being used for new ones; or it’s work together with suppliers, encouraging them to use 100% renewable energy too.

Other “Just” Companies

If you want to know more information about the remaining companies on the ranking, check JustCapital.

[Image credits to mark on Shutterstock]