For the second year in a row, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters of Waterbury, Vt.,tops the annual survey of the 100 Best Corporate Citizens in the United States released last week by CRO magazine. It is the first time in the history of the list that a company has ranked first in two consecutive years. Green Mountain has been among the top 10 companies on the list for five years running.
The list is drawn from more than 1,100 of the largest U.S. publicly traded companies and is largely based on the environmental, social, and governance research of KLD Research & Analytics. The 100 Best Corporate Citizens list was developed by Business Ethics magazine, which was incorporated last year into The CRO, a membership organization for corporate responsibility officers.
Rounding out the top ten are Advanced Micro Devices, Nike, Motorola, Intel, International Business Machines, Agilent Technologies, The Timberland Company, Starbucks Coffee Company and General Mills.
Not surprisingly, the environment was a major issue for many of this year’s 100 Best, with an increasing corporate focus on using sustainable materials and on tackling climate change. Among the top 10 companies, eight are members of the U.S. EPA’s Green Power Partnership, a group of businesses that has made a commitment to use green power for at least some portion of their electricity needs. Four of the top 10 are EPA Climate Leaders, companies who work with the government devising strategies to address global warming.
This year’s list included 24 newcomers, with the highest-ranked being office furnishings company Steelcase (No. 17), creator of the Think chair, an office chair made out of 44 percent recyclable material, and designed to be fully recycled when no longer needed. Steelcase’s leadership in environmental design is one reason for making the list, but the company also is recognized for charitable giving and support for education.
Demonstrating a long-term commitment to corporate responsibility practice are the 11 companies on the list since it was started eight years ago: Intel, Timberland, Starbucks, Herman Miller, Cisco, Pitney Bowes, Southwest Airlines, Cummins, Ecolab, Brady Corp. and St. Paul Travelers.
“The 100 Best distinguish themselves from their peers at other large public companies by embracing higher standards—combining strong financial performance with responsible practices on environmental and social issues,” says Michael Connor, publisher and editor of CRO magazine.