ESG Chart of the Week: 2021 JUST 100 Companies Outperform the Market

In light of last week’s analysis of the 2021 JUST Universe specific to return on equity, this week we dive into the new list of companies constituting the JUST 100, our annual list of America’s most just companies. The latest list showcases companies that are not only prioritizing stakeholder capitalism but have gone above and beyond to support their workforces over the past year, as the workers stakeholder holds a 41% weight in our model this year (compared to 35% last year). 

Looking at the average JUST 100 company, we see significant alpha relative to the average company in the Russell 1000 universe we cover with the JUST 100 companies returning 13.12% over the trailing 1 year and the average company we rank at 10.70% as of 10/31/2020. 

JUST 100 companies have acted ethically, paid their workers a fair, living wage, and protected worker health and safety throughout 2020. This year demanded leadership from our corporations to step when our government couldn’t, with the Harris Poll recently finding that 72% of Americans “trust companies more than the Federal government to help find solutions to issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic and racial equality movement.” 

One company that stepped up to lead this year and back into the JUST 100 is Target. Jumping from 101st overall in our rankings to number 15 this year, Target prioritized frontline workers during the pandemic by providing hourly wage increases and by offering $250-$1,500 bonuses to hourly store managers, the highest maximum amount among retailers we track. In addition, Target was one of just a few companies to permanently extend hazard pay increases, raising its minimum wage to $15 an hour. And as Target continues to prioritize its many stakeholders, it continues to see financial results, returning 44.87% in the trailing year as of the end of October.

If you are interested in supporting our mission, we are happy to discuss data needs, index licensing, and other ways we can partner. Please reach out to our Director of Business Development, Charlie Mahoney, at to discuss how we can create a more JUST economy together.

If you have questions concerning the underlying analysis, please reach out to our Senior Manager for Quantitative Research, Steffen Bixby, PhD, at

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