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The JUST Report: Healthy Workers = Healthy Returns  

Apple ranks #10 in our Top 100 Companies Supporting Healthy Families and Communities.
(Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

In a CNBC segment on Wednesday, our head of strategy, Alison Omens, touted our new list of the Top 100 Companies Supporting Healthy Families and Communities, which we developed with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The key moment came when Closing Bell co-anchor Wilfred Frost posed a common question – do these companies care more about the well-being of their stakeholders than serving their shareholders? Alison’s response was one for the ages: “I have to reject the premise!”

As we have spent the past six years demonstrating, it’s not a zero sum game. Shareholders do better when companies create value for all their stakeholders. Last week I wrote about how this framing underpins the activist campaigns that ExxonMobil and Chevron shareholders brought at last week’s AGMs (You can read more on that in our latest interview with Engine No. 1.) Both rested on the belief that shareholders were leaving money on the table by not embracing what we would call a stakeholder approach.

To that exact point, our Healthy Families and Communities list is led by Nvidia, Microsoft, Bankof America, Salesforce, and Intel, and each is prioritizing issues like fair and livable wages, inclusive workplaces, and community investment. Crucially, these 100 companies outperformed the Russell 1000 benchmark by 4.6% over the trailing year.

Don’t be fooled. Long-term value creation for all stakeholders is best for shareholders too.

Be well,
Martin Whittaker

 

This Week in Stakeholder Capitalism

Amazon, Disney, Google, Microsoft, Netflix, Salesforce, Unilever, and Workday have partnered with EDF, the UN, and WWF to create the Business Alliance to Scale Climate Solutions, which serves as a knowledge-sharing network to accelerate emission reduction efforts.

Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, Bank of America, and others are subsidizing employee meals in an attempt to get more to return to the office.

PayPal has invested $50 million with Black-and-Latino led venture funds, doubling a commitment that it initiated last year.

Viacom is being accused of using vast tax loopholes to fund its film projects that have cost U.S. taxpayers $4 billion.

What’s Happening at JUST

June 24th at 1PM ET: Join JUST Capital and the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program to discuss how private sector leaders can advance racial equity within their companies, communities, and regional economies, featuring speakers from CenterState, Cincinnati U.S. Regional Chamber, and Brookings Institute. Sign up to attend here.

Martin and Rich spoke with Engine No 1 in the wake of their historic win against ExxonMobil last week to discuss what happened as well as what’s next, building on our recent LinkedIn Liveconversation.

Yusuf penned an editorial for Crain’s Chicago discussing how accountability is impossible without real transparency, as a companion to Crain’s forum feature exploring if we are experiencing a movement or a moment as companies grapple with following through on racial equity commitments.

Our hazard pay research was featured in this Vox article on how the pandemic changed work permanently for many employees, and data from our Corporate Racial Equity Tracker was included in Pensions & Investments’ piece on debunking diversity, equity, and inclusion myths in the workplace.

The Forum

(Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)

“The thing that I always suggest that people say is when they hear an employer say, ‘I can’t find the workers that I need,’ always add the phrase ‘at the wage I want to pay.’”

“Ideally it adds to the growing list of reasons why companies need to be focused on creating investor value over the long term, which we believe includes thinking about their long-term relationship with their customers, their employees, society, and in this case, the planet.”

“If you look to get a big position in a company in hoping to turn them around, and you’re not getting a really good view of the human capital, you’re missing something very big in your evaluation. … [For example] Microsoft changed CEOs and had an amazing transformation. And if you look at that transformation, it was largely a cultural transformation, largely the transformation of how people looked at themselves, how management looked at the employees.”

Must-Reads of the Week

Insider posits that the truth behind America’s “labor shortage” is that we’re not ready to rethink work; Quartz further unpacks that the shortage is just a wage shortage in a series of interactive charts; and The Atlantic discusses why the current economic situation is giving more workers the power to say “no” to jobs they don’t want. The New York Times economics reporters further dissect how wage growth is holding up in the aftermath of the economic crash.

The National Law Review reports that the EEOC commission has found that companies can order their employees to get COVID-19 vaccines to return to work, as long as they comply with reasonable accommodation provisions from the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The Fortune 500 broke a record this year: the number of women CEOs hit an all-time high at 41,and two of these CEOs are Black women, a first for the group.

 

Chart of the Week 

The week’s chart shows that the Top 100 Companies Supporting Healthy Families and Communities outperformed their Russell 1000 peers. Explore the results here.

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