Full Ranking Methodology

Below, please find the Executive Summary and top-line details from our 2022 Methodology. For a complete overview of our processes, please view our Full Ranking Methodology.

Executive Summary

Every year, we ask the American public to identify what behaviors matter to them most when it comes to just business behavior. Those Issues become the foundation by which we track, analyze, and incentivize corporate behavior change through our Rankings of America’s Most JUST Companies, ongoing program initiatives, and investor products like the JUST Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF). 

This document provides a detailed look at how JUST Capital calculated the 2022 Rankings. Since 2016, JUST Capital has ranked the largest, publicly traded U.S. corporations, producing a list that reflects how well each company measures up against the American public’s definition of just business behavior. JUST Capital released its inaugural industry-level ranking in 2016, and in 2017, released our first-ever ordinal ranking of companies, comparing them across different industries. Every year, we build upon this foundation, conducting in-house collection for unique and highly differentiated data points, refining our measures and methodologies, and engaging with more and more companies on their path to practicing more just corporate behavior.

Today, our Rankings of America’s Most JUST Companies includes the JUST 100 list of the top performing companies across all industries, as well as the Industry Leaders list, which includes the 33 top-performing companies by sector.

As part of the development of this methodology and our annual rankings, we solicited input from both the American public and subject matter experts – such as academics, investment practitioners, civil society, and corporations – on our choice of measurements and our means of transforming the raw data to use in our ranking model. These checks and balances have been critical to ensuring that our work and our rankings remain as informed, objective, and accurate as possible.

To view the 2022 Rankings, visit https://justcapital.com/rankings/.

Our Process

To produce the annual Rankings of America’s Most JUST Companies, our methodology follows a four-step process:

  1.  Survey Research: JUST Capital conducts both qualitative focus groups and quantitative surveys of a representative sample of the American public on a regular basis in order to understand what issues represent just corporate behavior, how these issues should be defined, and their relative importance (or weight).
  2. Company Evaluation: In as fair, unbiased, and rigorous a way as possible, JUST Capital develops metrics and collects data on how companies in the Russell 1000 Index – the largest, publicly traded U.S. companies – perform across these issues. These data are used in developing each company’s score and rank.
  3. Company Data Review: After JUST Capital collects the data for each of the Russell 1000 companies we rank, companies are given the opportunity to review their data and submit suggestions for revisions to the data before company scores and ranks are determined.
  4. Rankings: As a final step, JUST Capital develops a ranking model, utilizing the Issue weights from our Max-Diff survey results as well as evaluations of corporate performance, to score and finally rank companies from the Russell 1000 Index. We generate an overall ranking of Russell 1000 companies as well as industry-level ranking so that companies can be compared to their peers.

A high-level overview of each of the four steps can be found below.

Survey Research

JUST Capital’s survey research consists of both qualitative and quantitative work, in the form of focus groups and surveys. Since 2015, we have surveyed more than 150,000 Americans – representative of the U.S. adult population – adding more than 30,000 respondents in 2021 alone.

Our survey research begins with focus groups that are conducted each year across the country to collect detailed, unfiltered input from Americans of all backgrounds on what just business behavior looks like. The findings from the focus groups are used to inform quantitative surveys that confirm the importance and relevance of these business behaviors and activities. Our main survey uses a Max-Diff discrete choice modeling technique, which asks respondents what business behaviors are most and least important to defining a just company and then assigns a weight to each business behavior based on the probability that a member of the American public would choose that Issue as most important.

This year, our qualitative focus groups and quantitative survey research identified 20 business behaviors, or Issues, and their relative importance to the American public. We assign each Issue to the stakeholder – either Workers, Customers, Communities, the Environment, or Shareholders & Governance – it most impacts. In order of importance to the American public, this year’s Stakeholders and their related Issues are:

Company Evaluation

The Issues identified by the American public form the basis for JUST Capital’s evaluation of the companies we rank. As a first step in evaluating companies, we develop Metrics, or conceptual measures of corporate performance for each of our 20 Issues.

As a second step in JUST Capital’s evaluation of companies, our analysts determine appropriate Data Points that can be used to measure the Metrics on company performance. 

This year, JUST Capital collected 241 raw data points that are aggregated into scored Data Points and used to calculate the Metrics relating to each Issue. Data Points are collected for all the companies we rank, which is roughly equivalent to the 1,000 largest, publicly traded U.S. companies as defined by the Russell 1000 Index.

Company Data Review

Once the Data Points have been collected, JUST Capital provides each ranked company with an opportunity to review its data and submit suggestions for revisions. Over the course of five weeks, representatives from each of the companies we ranked were invited to review their data on the JUST Capital Corporate Portal, a secure, web-based comment platform. JUST Capital analysts assess each suggestion submitted by the companies to ensure that all data are accurate, relevant, and consistent with our metrics and methodology and are publicly disclosed.

Rankings

The fourth and final step of JUST Capital’s methodological approach is producing a cross-industry ordinal rank of each company we evaluate.

To construct the Rankings, JUST Capital calculates a series of Metric scores from Data Points, and then averages these Metrics to get scores at the Issue level. In select cases where companies do not have the underlying Data Points needed to compute a Metric Score, we apply a missing data treatment. Select Data Points are further normalized to account for variations in company size and scale. To account for other cases where a company’s Data Point value or Metric score appears to be an outlier, we winsorize or cap its Metric and Issue level scores. A company’s overall score is then determined by calculating the sum of its scores across all Issues, weighted by each Issue’s importance as derived from the Max-Diff survey results. The overall score directly relates to a company’s rank, where a higher overall score results in a better rank.

In addition to producing an ordinal rank of each company, JUST Capital also generates an industry-specific rank. A company’s industry-specific rank is obtained by comparing a company’s overall rank to other companies within its industry. Companies with a higher cross-industry rank are ranked higher in the industry-specific rankings.

For more in-depth detail on how we created JUST Capital’s 2022 Rankings, please see our full methodology.

Have questions about our research and rankings?  We want to hear from you!