The JUST Report: Accenture, AI, and the Importance of the Consumer

(Photo by D Dipasupil/Getty Images for Fortune)

Consumer issues comprise some of the biggest conversations on what it means to be a just company right now. Take Meta, Snapchat, and other social media CEOs appearing before the Senate on their impact on child safety. Or consider the effect that stubbornly high prices for groceries and other consumer staples have had on working families. AT&T’s cellular service outage this week also springs to mind. 

These issues have a real impact on millions of Americans. And with the rapid growth and deployment of generative AI, the consumer component of our stakeholder model – particularly in areas like data privacy, product benefit and harm, and customer treatment – is only going to grow in importance in the future. 

In a recent CNBC interview, Accenture CEO Julie Sweet spoke about ranking No.3 overall on JUST’s 2024 Rankings (and No. 1 in its industry). She underscored her strategy of prioritizing not only worker issues but customer issues as well. Focusing on key consumer issues like data privacy helped propel the company’s recent success, she said. 

Accenture’s ISO 27001 certification makes it one of the first global companies to be externally verified against the information security standard and one of only 20% of companies in the Russell 1000 to do so. They are also one of 74% of companies that maintains both board-level oversight on privacy and cybersecurity issues along with an internal team to mitigate and resolve privacy-related issues. 

“The fact that we have a responsible AI program, that we have very strong programs around data privacy – these are essential to our business. Over the past four years, we’ve added $120 billion in market cap. It reflects that being just is really good. You create value and you stand for values,” Sweet said.  

Be well,


JUST 100 Insights

We’ll be highlighting some of the best policies across the JUST 100 in our next few newsletters, but for this week, we’re picking one policy each from the companies that landed 9 and 10 on the list. 

9. Advanced Micro Devices returns to the JUST 100 and enters the top 10 for the first time. One area where they standout is in prioritizing the health and safety of its workforce, with an OSHA total recordable incident rate of 0.04, much lower than the semiconductors industry average of 0.4 and the overall Russell 1000 average of 1.1. In addition, they provide a generous benefits package which includes 12 weeks of paid parental leave for both primary and secondary caregivers, 20 days of designated sick leave, and a minimum of 15 days of paid time off.

10. Micron Technology enters the top 10 for the first time, excelling at  career development opportunities and support for individuals re-entering the workforce or at early stages of their careers, offering career development opportunities such as tuition reimbursement and 62 hours, on average, of employee career development training, which contributes to a retention rate of 92%, while also supporting employees’ work-life balance with 17 days of paid vacation, 12 weeks of paid parental leave for all caregivers, and opportunities for flexible scheduling.

Quote of the Week

“Our people, our 47,000 people, are in a very good place because they know that what we do, what they do, has a major impact on our customers, on the environment and at the end of the day, on our performance. Doing what’s right the right way is what’s been driving us for the past 100 years and will propel us for the next 100 years.” 

Christophe Beck, CEO and chair of Ecolab, speaking about ranking No. 7 on JUST Capital’s 2024 Annual Rankings of America’s Most Just Companies on CNBC’s “The Exchange”


A new Axios poll shows that Gen Z is far more excited by the prospect of generative AI than older generations, though most Americans remain wary of the new technology’s power. Meanwhile, Quartz reports that Google had to pull its generative AI tool this week after its inability to replicate historical figures with racial accuracy


The Guardian dives into a significant report that says major plastic-producing companies knew as far back as the 80’s that recycling would not be a sustainable solution for waste management but promoted it anyway.  

The Wall Street Journal takes a look at a problem currently hitting high-shipping industries – while consumers might love next-day delivery, they remain vehemently opposed to living near shipping warehouses, stifling where companies are allowed to build new shipping centers and routes.

Capital One is buying Discover – or trying to. The New York Times weighs in on the legal hurdles the massive 35 billion dollar deal may face. Meanwhile Walmart will buyTV-maker Vizio for 2.3 billion, signaling their plans to move beyond just selling goods. 

The Washington Post reports that the head of Boeing’s 737 Max program is exiting the company in a wave of leadership changes due to the ongoing controversy around the aircraft’s safety.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Nike is planning to cut over 1,600 jobs in a bid to cut costs. 

The New York Times looks at a common trend squeezing workers wages – more and more companies replacing full-time workers with multiple part-time workers to drive down labor and benefit costs, and how unstable schedules are hurting these workers’ ability to find other jobs. 

Chart of the Week 

The Harris Poll’s recently published fifth annual Parent Confidence Index with KinderCare finds that 57% of parents would take a pay cut to work for a company that provided childcare benefits. This chart from the report lays out the types of benefits working parents are looking for from employers, from flexible hours to on-site childcare. 

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