The JUST Report: What Our Latest Financial Analysis Reveals

Photo by Elena Oliva/Sight & Sound

Twice this week, JUST friend and Fortune Media CEO Alan Murray wrote about how challenging it is for CEOs to navigate today’s highly politicized world. JUST Board member Alan Fleischmann was quoted as saying “The CEO has to be able to articulate how he or she leads in this environment.” A hat tip to Alan, and to take it one step further: CEOs also need to be able to convincingly articulate how their strategy fits into their overall business strategy.

This is where our work comes in. Our Annual Rankings show which companies are making meaningful investments in their stakeholder leadership. And the platform we’ve created, as well as the stakeholder framework that underpins it – backed by 9 years of polling, 8 years of corporate performance data and over 1.3 million individual data points – cover many of the critical stakeholder issues that matter to CEOs today. It serves as a dynamic roadmap that can help any corporate leader navigate today’s political waters and take action on the things that matter most.  

Throughout it all, the connection to financial performance remains pivotal. According to a piece released this week by Mona Patni, our quantitative financial analysis lead, “JUST Capital found that two of the five stakeholders we track delivered positive performance in Q4 2023. Over the longer term from January 2018 to December 2023, the leaders in corporate stakeholder performance across all five stakeholders have outperformed the laggards by 66.6% as measured by JUST Overall Score.”

With the pushback on ESG and ‘woke’ companies now maturing, we think there is room in America today for a more objective, data-driven framework that supports values-led business leadership, drives positive societal change and connects directly to business strategy. In other words, we think JUST’s time has come.

Be well,

Quote of the Week 

(Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images FOR ESSENCE)

“Media headlines about the creation and then elimination of corporate diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) positions at Big Tech companies have generated plenty of buzz. This kind of coverage can raise doubts about whether companies are committed to DEI in the long term. But these headlines aren’t telling the whole story […] In fact, our recent ‘Expanding Equity retrospective report’ suggests the opposite. Companies are doubling down on DEI as an essential part of their business strategy.” 

JUST In the News

CNBC Correspondent Sharon Epperson highlights our latest corporate data around diversity, equity, and inclusion policies in two on-air spots as part of the network’s ongoing coverage of the JUST Rankings. 

On the podcast “Purpose 360,” hosted by business and nonprofit consultant and former Global Practice Chair of Edelman Business Carol Cone, JUST CEO Martin Whittaker explores JUST’s recently released 2024 Top 100 Rankings

In his podcast, “The Mentor’s Radio,” JUST Capital Board Member Dan Hesse – former CEO of Sprint and current chairman of Akamai Technologies – discusses employee ownership and its contribution to economic justice and American competitiveness.

JUST Capital re-promotes its analysis on companies supporting diverse pipelines through investments in Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Separately, JUST Quantitative Research and Analytics Lead Mona Pati pens our latest review of quarterly stakeholder performance


NVIDIA skyrocketed to a near $2 trillion-dollar market cap this week, riding the success of its expanding AI-focused chip production. Meanwhile, Google is working to fix its Gemini AI technology after it produced historically inaccurate images, which CEO Sundar Pichai has called “unacceptable.”

Must Reads

There’s pushback against the ESG pushback. This week Axios reports that a major climate advocacy group is launching a campaign to push back on the growing anti-ESG rhetoric, starting first in Arizona, which has become a hotbed of anti-ESG investing bills. 

With companies fearing headlines about layoffs, more and more employers are turning to “quiet firing” – actively making employee jobs worse to encourage them to leave. Business Insider runs down the ways companies are trying to force employees out without having to explicitly lay them off in this recent piece. 

It’s not just you – CNBC reports that Americans are spending the biggest share of their income on food in three decades due to grocery prices that just won’t fall. Data For Progress confirms that when voters say they are worried about the economy, their concern is  almost entirely concentrated on the price of groceries. And while consumers wait for falling prices, many companies are actually fearing the drop. 

Axios takes a close look at a major cybersecurity attack that affected the ability for millions of Americans to get their prescription medicine, revealing a major technology weakness in the healthcare industry that major companies are struggling to deal with. 

Sony Playstation is laying off 8% of its workforce this week, joining a sweeping wave of layoffs affecting the video game industry. As of now, the first two months of 2024 have nearly matched the entirety of 2023 in layoffs.   

Chart of the Week 

This chart comes from our latest review of quarterly stakeholder performance. In Q4 2023, two of the five stakeholders we track delivered positive performance, and the Customers stakeholder delivered the strongest performance with a long-short spread of 3.01%. Dive deeper here. 

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