The JUST Report:  A New Era of JUST with CNBC 


​​It’s been a big week in the JUST world.

First, I’m thrilled to announce our new expansive media partnership with CNBC. You’ll soon be seeing more of our data and insights across its broadcast, digital, and event platforms, with the aim of using CNBC’s access, audience, and resources to further corporations’ accountability to their stakeholders.

We also had an amazing #GivingTuesday. That included JUST, Apple, and Unilever board member and Grameen America CEO Andrea Jung sitting down with two members of our JUSTGen network to discuss the opportunity corporate America has right now to ensure the post-pandemic economy works for all women.

It’s clear to us that progress toward a more just economy is gathering pace. But at the heart of it is authenticity and trust. You can release pledges, commitments, and statements on all the big issues, but if your stakeholders don’t believe you – especially your workers, your customers, and your shareholders – you won’t be successful. Creating real value for society is now the key to business performance.

We spoke with Harvard Business School’s Sandra Sucher, coauthor of “The Power of Trust,” and her guidance for corporate leaders focused on what she calls the four elements of trust: competence, motives, fairness, and impact. As we head into a new year with a new partner, and release our annual Rankings early next month, you will see how our work touches on all of these dimensions.

I’ll close with a huge and heartfelt thank you to everyone who helped us this week, and to all of you for being part of our journey.

Be well,
Martin Whittaker

This Week in Stakeholder Capitalism

Capital One becomes the largest bank to end overdraft fees.

Goldman Sachs is expanding its benefits – including extending bereavement leave and leave for pregnancy loss – in a bid to combat employee burnout.

John Deere raises wages for non-union workers after a strike resolution.

Microsoft shareholders have voted for the company to release a report on the effectiveness of its sexual harassment policies after a push from Arjuna Capital.

Twitter’s Jack Dorsey steps down as the company’s CEO.

JUST Events

Corporations as Community Partners in Racial Equity: Newark
How can corporations advance racial equity in the communities they impact? We’ll be sitting down with leaders from Audible, Pedul, and more to discuss the launch of Newark Venture Partners (NVP), which invests in high-growth startups and generates jobs and opportunities for residents in Newark, New Jersey, where Audible is based. NVP has invested more than $40 million in 93 portfolio companies, more than half of which were founded by women or people of color. Join the webinar to learn more about this program and the successes of others from leading practitioners in the field.

DECEMBER 9TH at 12:30 PM ET:
Alison Omens will join leaders from PayPal and the Financial Health Network to discuss our Worker Financial Wellness Initiative at The Conference Board’s Employee Financial Well-Being Conference. Register now to have access to the sessions live and later on demand.

What’s Happening at JUST

Coming out of COP26, the need for ambitious – and credible – corporate climate action is clearer than ever. JUST analysts Shannon Cabral and Laura Thornton took a look at the current climate commitments of the Russell 1000 and determined the four factors companies need to consider to set effective targets.

This week, we celebrated #GivingTuesday by inviting our community to join us in building #JUSTFuture for all Americans. Thank you to all who participated! And, if you missed it, hear directly from our growing community of JUSTGen members, including Tonna Obaze and Won Palisoul in conversation with our board member, Andrea Jung, on what a #JUSTFuture looks like for women in corporate America.

Insider reports on a key insight from our latest Americans’ Views on Business Survey – that shows most Americans support CEOs speaking out on inequality, racism, and diversity, and the need for diversity in the workplace – and showcases corporate leadership examples from our Worker Financial Wellness Initiative.

Angela Jackson from New Profit pens an editorial in Fortune about the SEC’s push for human capital metrics and the lack of data as demonstrated by our latest disclosure report.


The Forum

“There’s nothing else we do in business that we set on that time horizon.  … So I think that skepticism is warranted and companies need to dial it back … [and show] how it connects to the long-term vision.” 

  • Sandra Sucher, Harvard Business School management professor and coauthor of “The Power of Trust,” to JUST on the issue of widespread investor skepticism over net zero goals 10 to 30 years into the future.

There are some things that actually do matter a lot – employee financial health for example – that we know companies don’t measure. This isn’t because they’ve assessed it and decided it doesn’t matter; it’s because they haven’t figured it out.”

“That said, the need for data and metrics to guide tools in building such portfolios will remain a challenge. Similar sorts of issues already exist when it comes to developing ESG ratings themselves. While the marketplace will continue to mature in this area and likely provide a wider array of selection and new types of metrics to better assist investors in making informed decisions about the types of companies they hold in a portfolio, fundamental questions about how to rate companies on ESG metrics will persist.”

Must-Reads of the Week

The New York Times explores the challenges of CEOs increasingly taking a stand on social and political debates.

Insider spoke with CEOs from Etsy, Best Buy, and PwC on how they plan to advance racial equity in corporate America in a new era of momentum and accountability.

The Financial Times reports that, beginning in March 2022, Goldman Sachs Asset Management will vote against big companies that do not have a minimum number of female and minority board members.

The Wall Street Journal talks with 10 investing experts as they debate where ESG investing will be five years from now.

The Washington Post looks at how many pandemic changes in work-life (such as permanent work-from-home) were beneficial to the disabled, and whether they will remain in the post-pandemic economy.

Here & Now examines the wave of human rights abuses occurring in the expanding renewable energy industry.

Chart of the Week

This chart comes from an Axios report on CEO departure research from Heidrick & Struggles, showing that CEOS who delayed their leave in 2020 are now joining regular employees in the Great Resignation. Learn more here.

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