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Latest Corporate Social Responsibility News - Change is a Constant for CRO’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens List

Submitted by: CSRwire Weekly News Alert

Categories: Socially Responsible Investing, Ratings & Awards

Posted: Feb 26, 2008 – 10:59 PM EST

 

Mutual Funds Targeted by Investors Against Genocide Stay Off List

Feb. 26 /CSRwire/ - SPRINGFIELD, MA - February 26, 2008 - "The more things change, the more they stay the same." So goes the old saying, aptly describing the annual 100 Best Corporate Citizens List, which shifted its nameplate last year from advocacy-leaning (Business Ethics) to industry-leaning (CRO--short for Corporate Responsibility Officer) after Marjorie Kelly sold the magazine to Michael Connor who handed it off to current publisher Jay Whitehead. This year, the number-cruncher also changed hands from KLD Research & Analytics, which analyzed companies in its Domini 400 Social Index (DSI) as well as the S&P 500 and Russell 1000, to IW Financial, which dropped the DSI from the consideration universe and hence transforming the list's focus to larger companies.

Unchanged is the controversy surrounding the list, which inevitably accompanies any attempt to rank corporate social responsibility. Questions have already arisen about the inclusion of Monsanto (over child labor in India), Coca-Cola (over ground-water depletion), and Dow (over its Union Carbide legacy in Bhopal.) CRO wisely insulates itself from undue criticism by disclosing the methodology behind the list, which was “driven by the numbers. Period.” In other words, companies make the list based on IW Financial’s analysis of the list criteria, so criticism should rightly target the underlying structure of the list. That, or IW’s analysis, which is based on patented environmental, social, and governance (ESG) ratings.

CSRwire.com members named to the 100 Best Corporate Citizens list include Dow (13), Baxter (24), American Electric Power (69), and SPX (100.) The list does not include Fidelity, Barclays, Franklin Templeton, T. Rowe Price, or Vanguard--all mutual fund firms targeted by Investors Against Genocide with shareholder resolutions seeking portfolios free of companies supporting genocide, for example in Sudan.

Looking toward the future, a symposium projecting the next two decades of development in CSR will be hosted by John Elkington, Mark Lee, and Sophia Tickell of SustainAbility, which helped define the field over the past two decades--for example by coining the term “triple bottom line” in 1994 and more recently by promoting social entrepreneurship. This article was written by CSRwire contributor Bill Baue.

To read the latest corporate social responsibility news from State Farm, Deloitte, Carbonfund, Seventh Generation and other leading socially responsible organizations, visit http://www.csrwire.com/LastAlert.html.

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