Over the past five years, JUST Capital has surveyed more than 96,000 Americans to find out what matters most when it comes to business practices and what a company should prioritize.
The key takeaway hasn’t changed since 2015: Regardless of income, age, political affiliation, or location, the public is united in their desire for corporate America to stop prioritizing shareholders above all else and to start sharing success with every stakeholder, including workers, customers, communities, and the environment. And now, corporate America agrees.
In August 2019, the Business Roundtable — an association of the chief executive officers of nearly 200 of America’s largest and most influential companies — released a new Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation rejecting 40 years of shareholder primacy to adopt a new framework in which the purpose of a corporation is to benefit all stakeholders.
Their vision catches up to what business leaders, smart investors, and the American people have been telling JUST Capital for years: that doing right by workers, paying fair wages, investing in communities, fostering environmental stewardship, looking after customers, creating great jobs, and making products that benefit society is not only right, it’s the best way to generate profit and serve shareholders.
Now it’s all about implementation. What can companies actually do to measure and improve their performance on these issues? And how might you know which companies are truly walking the talk in promoting this more just and inclusive economy?
That’s where our 2020 Rankings of America’s Most JUST Companies come in. It’s the only platform demonstrating which companies are leading the way on the issues that matter most in the stakeholder economy.
Here are the five large companies that topped this year’s list, plus details on why they performed so well, broken down by stakeholder.
- Published its EEO-1 Survey, providing the highest level of disclosure on workforce demographics. Microsoft is one of the 4% of companies in the Russell 1000 that publicly shares this detailed report.
- For more than a decade, Microsoft has provided childcare subsidies, discounts, and backup options for workers.
- All parents receive 12 weeks of parental leave, and birth mothers get an additional eight weeks. In 2018, Microsoft announced that it would require its suppliers to also offer at least 12 weeks of parental leave, paying up to $1,000 per week.
- Achieved 100% carbon neutrality in global operations every year since 2012.
- Reduced product packaging weight for new devices by 20% in fiscal year 2018, exceeding the company’s 2020 goals.
- Sets its sustainability goals in three primary areas: carbon and energy, water and ecosystems, and waste minimization. In addition to these more traditional pathways, Microsoft is also exploring a “tech-first” approach to sustainability, investing $50 million in its initiative called AI for Earth.
- Takes leading steps to respect human rights throughout its operations and address negative impacts. Microsoft also publishes an annual Human Rights Report, which details the progress made in this area.
- Microsoft has donated $1.4 billion to nonprofits worldwide and fosters a strong culture of employee giving. Collectively, Microsoft employees — in partnership with the company’s matching policy — contributed $263 million, supporting 21,785 nonprofits and schools worldwide.
Industry: Semiconductors & Equipment
- In addition to generous medical plan benefits, NVIDIA partners with the Stanford Health Navigator program to provide employees access to medical advice and care from leading institutions.
- Supports parents through a generous paid parental leave policy, which provides 100% pay up to 22 weeks for mothers and 12 weeks for fathers, adoptive parents, and foster parents, with 8 weeks of flexible work hours upon return from leave.
- Promotes diversity and inclusion by shepherding candidates at key diversity recruiting events.
- Secures clean power at several data centers and reduced its emissions per employees between FY18 and FY19 by 7%, which amounts to a 20% reduction since FY14, exceeding its FY20 goal.
- Decarbonizes its supply chain by requiring key manufacturing suppliers to report their energy and emissions policies and data since FY15, and in FY18 adding the requirement to have emissions data verified by a third party.
- Designs products with energy efficiency in mind.
- In 2019, NVIDIA donated over $2.69 million to support nonprofits across the globe that address issues such as disaster responses and fighting against cancer.
- Addresses the negative impact business operations have on human rights by ensuring that it is 100% Responsible Minerals Assurance Process-compliant for its tantalum, tin, tungsten, and gold processing facilities.
- Encourages employee giving and volunteering. In 2019, employees volunteered over 13,000 hours, 77% of NVIDIA’s offices held charity-giving events, and the total volunteer rate was 34%.
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Industry: Technology Hardware
- Apple is part of just 4% of companies in the Russell 1000 that publicly shared their EEO-1 Survey, offering the highest level of disclosure on their workforce demographics.
- Offers tuition reimbursement of up to $5,250 per year for their employees in order to help alleviate the financial toll of pursuing higher education.
- Apple is one of the top five highest-paying companies in the Technology Hardware industry, ranking in the 73rd percentile, on average, for paying employees across different occupations a higher wage than its industry peers.
- Reduced Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions (those generated from electricity usage) by 79.5% between 2017 and 2018. This is in part due to Apple’s efforts to source 100% of the electricity used in its facilities from renewable resources.
- A focus on recycling and composting helped Apple divert a total of 74% of their waste from going to landfills in 2018.
- Through the Supplier Clean Energy Program, 44 of Apple’s suppliers pledged to use 100% renewable energy for Apple-related production. These commitments helped reduce the company’s carbon footprint by close to 3.6 million metric tons between 2017 and 2018.
- Through its participation in the ConnectEd initiative since 2014, Apple has supported 114 schools, serving high-needs students across the U.S.
- In addition to matching employee donations for a broad range of causes and organizations across the world, Apple’s giving program provides matching funds for every hour employees volunteer their time.
Industry: Semiconductors & Equipment
- Achieved pay and promotion parity for underrepresented minorities in the U.S. and global gender pay equity in 2018.
- In 2018, 200,000 employees took advantage of learning and development courses, totaling almost two million learning hours delivered through instructor-led classrooms, virtual classrooms, and multimedia. The company offers up to $50,000 per program in tuition reimbursement with no annual limits.
- Offers work-life balance through its flexible work options and child and elder care programs, which provide access to facilities, resources, and financial assistance.
- Sourced 71% of energy from renewables globally in 2018, while achieving 100% in its U.S. and E.U. operations through green power purchase and on-site installations.
- Intel treats and returns approximately 80% of water used to local communities and watershed and is making significant progress toward its goal to restore 100% of its global water use by 2025.
- 26% of its operational space is LEED-certified, a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement.
- Receives a 100, the highest possible score, from Development International in 2019 for its compliance with Dodd-Frank conflict minerals disclosure rules (based on reporting year 2018), signifying excellent performance.
- Actively seeks to hire military veterans through its veteran hiring policy. Intel has committed to giving persons with criminal records a second chance by either having a policy to actively recruit them or by signing the Fair Chance Business Pledge.
- Publishes its EEO-1 Survey, providing the highest level of disclosure on their workforce demographics. Further showing their commitment to diversity and equal opportunity, Salesforce signed the Paradigm for Parity initiative whereby companies commit to achieving full gender parity by 2030.
- Offers childcare services to its employees, who also benefit from preferential childcare rates and backup childcare.
- Supports employees who want to go back to school by reimbursing up to $5k in educational fees per employee every year.
- Salesforce sets environmental targets to offset 100% of business travel by 2020, is pursuing a net zero carbon certification by 2030, and 50% of its suppliers aim to set emissions targets by 2025
- Salesforce recently released Sustainability Cloud, software that helps businesses track and analyze their environmental data.
- Salesforce offers its employees seven days of paid volunteer time off every year and developed a pro bono volunteering program where volunteers help nonprofit organizations become more efficient and connected with cloud technology.
- Signed the 1% pledge, whereby companies give 1% of their time, products, profits, or equity to improve the world. In 2018, Salesforce gave $60M to charitable organizations.
- Actively recruits veterans and military spouses and pledged to provide free training to 35,000 veterans, military spouses, and transitioning service members by 2021.
Want to See More? Check Out the Full 2020 Rankings!
This year, we tracked, analyzed, and ranked 922 companies from the Russell 1000, across five stakeholder groups, including Workers, Customers, Communities, the Environment, and Shareholders. We covered 29 Issues — like whether companies pay a living wage or protect the environment — and more than 400 data points, from paid parental leave to veteran hiring and supplier policies.
We do this because we believe that independent and unbiased data, tools, and insights can drive accountability and incentivize action. Please explore this year’s Rankings to learn more about how the largest public U.S. companies measure up when it comes to serving their stakeholders and creating an economy that works for all Americans.
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