Below, please find the Executive Summary and top-line details from our 2018 Methodology. For a complete overview of our processes, please view our Full Ranking Methodology, or for a short summary – including a breakdown of each of the Issues and Components, please view our Short Methodology.
Each year, JUST Capital ranks 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 corporate behavior. In 2016, JUST Capital released its inaugural industry rankings. In 2017, we released our first ever ranking of companies on an overall, cross-industry basis. In 2018, we have been building on that foundation, bringing a lot of the data collection in house, and refining our measurement of just corporate behavior.
To define just corporate behaviors, JUST Capital has, to date, polled over 81,000 members of the American public as part of a continuous, multiphase series of surveys. These polls, which target a representative sample of the U.S. population, determine the topics that matter most to Americans, including higher-level thematic Issues and specific Components of just business behavior, as well as their relative importance. JUST Capital has established Metrics for each of these Components, collected and evaluated data from an extensive range of sources, and then used this data to measure companies’ performance on the Issues defined by the American public.
As part of the development of our scoring methodology, JUST Capital solicits input from both the American public and subject matter experts (i.e. academics, investment practitioners, and corporations) on our choice of Metrics and Data Points, as well as the means of transforming and processing raw data to use in the ranking model. We believe this process ensures our work remains as informed, objective, and accurate as possible.
The JUST Capital ranking methodology follows a three-step process:
- Survey Research: JUST Capital conducts representative surveys 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 the relative importance of each.
- Company Evaluation: In as fair, unbiased, and rigorous a way as possible, JUST Capital develops Metrics and collects data on how the companies it covers perform across these issues. At every major methodological step, JUST Capital seeks guidance from its expert advisors and/or the public through polls or surveys.
- Rankings: With input from various stakeholders and independent experts, JUST Capital develops a ranking model that leverages our survey research and company evaluations to rank the largest, publicly traded U.S. companies. That same ranking provides the basis for a ranking by industry so that companies can be compared to their peers. An industry ranking is obtained by looking at the overall ranking on an industry-by-industry basis.
JUST Capital has utilized qualitative and quantitative survey research over the past four years to develop the framework for the ranking model. Over time, and after engaging more than 81,000 American adults, JUST Capital and the public have created a structure of seven “Issues” – overarching categories of business behavior – and 36 underlying “Components” – more specific categories of business behavior. Each year, JUST Capital conducts focus groups across the country to get detailed, unfiltered input from Americans of all backgrounds on what business priorities should be for just companies. Following the focus groups’ findings, JUST Capital conducts quantitative surveys to confirm the issues’ importance and relevance to justness and to tell us how the issues should be weighted in our ranking model. This year, between the focus groups and the quantitative surveys, JUST Capital engaged over 9,000 Americans in representative samples of the population.
JUST Capital’s ranking methodology, and the underlying model that drives it, support the ranking of corporations within custom groupings of companies, within established industry categories, and across the entire universe of publicly traded companies.
Our Overall Ranking compares companies across all industries using the same Components and Metrics, regardless of industry. This ranking reflects the universal nature of just corporate behavior, and allows users to compare the performance of any group of companies without regard to, or adjustment for, the specific circumstances of each company. The final output of the overall approach is an ordinal one to 890 ranking of all companies. Industry Rankings are obtained by comparing the overall rank on an industry-by-industry basis.
To produce the Rankings, JUST Capital calculates a series of individual numerical scores at the Metric and Component level. These scores are calculated and normalized for all Metrics and Components, while the treatment of missing data, outliers, and scaling varies based on the nature of the underlying data. A company’s overall score is then determined by calculating the weighted sum of its scores across all Components.