The JUST Report: 3 Years in, a Report Card for Business Roundtable Companies
Business Roundtable Chair Mary Barra (Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
On the third anniversary of the Business Roundtable’s embrace of stakeholder value creation in its now famous Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation, we’ve taken a closer look at how that statement’s signatories have performed over that time relative to their peers across our key stakeholder categories.
The headline, shared yesterday in Fortune’s CEO Daily, is that BRT signatory performance in the JUST rankings has actually trended upwards in the last three years. Currently, 63% of signatories are in the JUST 100 (compared to 49% in 2020), and no BRT signatory is in the bottom decile (14% three years ago). BRT signatories also have significantly higher average rankings than other Russell 1000 companies in all five stakeholder categories (workers, communities, customers, environment, and shareholders and governance).
But what really catches the eye is their actual performance on the underlying issues. We find that BRT signatories:
- Pay an estimated 3.2% more of their workers a living wage.
- Use 2.4x more renewable energy as a proportion of total energy use.
- Have 26% fewer workplace safety incidents per person-hour worked.
- Have 66% less direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions per dollar in revenue.
- Give 455% more in charitable contributions per dollar in pretax profit.
- Provide 3.5 hours more career development training to their employees.
They’re also more transparent. For example, they are 3.2x more likely to disclose measurable diversity and inclusion targets, 2.9x more likely to disclose conducting pay equity analyses, 3.4x more likely to disclose providing employees with child care service subsidies, 2x more likely to have a paid parental leave policy, and 1.7x more likely to include ESG KPIs in executive compensation or remuneration metrics.
With more than nine in ten Americans in agreement that the largest U.S. companies should do more to build an economy that allows every American to succeed through hard work and creativity, and to lead a life of meaning and dignity, this is the kind of corporate leadership we need more of.
This Week in Stakeholder Capitalism
Alaska Airlines launches a program with its corporate clients to use more sustainable aviation fuel for business travel, building on a partnership with Microsoft started last year.
Apple commits to a mandatory three-day-per-week in-office hybrid work model, diverging from flexible remote work policies instituted by competitors such as Google, Twitter, and Meta.
P&G takes steps towards more sustainable wood pulp sourcing for some of its consumer products, in response to pressures from environmental groups and investors.
Taco Bell implements a new strategy to improve its frontline experience – mandating all new corporate employees work shifts at one of their restaurants for a week.
What’s Happening at JUST
Fortune’s Alan Murray reports on our latest BRT analysis in CEO Daily, showing that signatories of the redefined purpose statement have trended upwards in our Rankings over the last three years.
CNBC’s Eric Rosenbaum takes a deep dive into our Current State of Disclosure on Worker Issues Report, talking with our Chief Strategy Officer Alison Omens and Head of Research Shane Khan to explore whether the pandemic has indeed improved the lot of workers (spoiler: it didn’t).
Martin and Jim O’Leary, Edelman’s U.S. CEO and Global Chair of Impact & ESG, pen an op-ed for the World Economic Forum on the importance today of corporations building trust with their employees and customers – particularly as attacks on ESG initiatives ramp up.
“It’s a conflicting period in terms of the data…Inflation is having an impact, particularly for those who don’t have a lot of money. Higher-income families are shopping at Walmart because they’re so price-sensitive right now…People are really price-focused right now regardless of income level. And the longer this lasts, the longer that will be the case.”
- Doug McMillon, CEO of Walmart, speaking to CNBC on their Q2 earnings and how inflation is changing customers’ shopping habits.
“We should focus on climate. The problem with that is because of high oil and gas prices, the world is turning back on their coal plants. It is dirtier.… Why can’t we get it through our thick skulls, that if you want to solve climate [change], it is not against climate [change] for America to boost more oil and gas?”
- Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorganChase, speaking to Yahoo Finance on what he feels is a major mistake when it comes to solving climate change while boosting U.S. energy.
“This literally killed morale. I found myself really struggling to explain to all my team members, master’s-level clinicians, why we were counting their keystrokes.”
- Jessica Hornig, a Rhode Island social worker, discussing the problems with worker tracking systems in a NY Time deep-dive.
Must-Reads of the Week
The New York Times reports on a set of digital monitoring tools major companies have implemented to keep track of remote workers’ productivity levels. The Times presented the content through an interactive experience that tracks your engagement and digital impression as you read, mimicking the technologies it discusses in the piece.
Morningstar investigates the Urban Institutes’ latest research on how workers lost $28 billion in wages over the course of the pandemic because of a lack of paid leave.
Wells Fargo is poised to lose ground in the mortgage business, an industry it dominated for years. The bank has been hit by fines and a Bloomberg report found they approved fewer than half of their Black applicants.
Chart of the Week
This chart comes from our latest analysis exploring how signatories of the Business Roundtable’s redefined Statement of the Purpose of a Corporation have stacked up in our Rankings over the last three years. This chart specifically shows that, on average, signatories perform better across every stakeholder compared to their Russell 1000 peers.
Get to Know JUST
CEO and President, Ceres
JUST Capital Board Member
JUST Capital Board Member Mindy Lubber is CEO of the sustainability nonprofit organization Ceres. She leads an all-women executive leadership team and more than 160 employees working to mobilize the most influential investors and companies to solve the world’s greatest sustainability challenges. She has also been recognized as one of Barron’s Most Influential Women in U.S. Finance.
Most recently this week she wrote the opinion piece for Reuters, “Comment: The backlash to climate-smart investing in the U.S. is based on a blatant lie,” pushing back against the “woke” ESG narrative.