America's 'top 100' corporate citizens praised

A members' organisation for corporate responsibility officers in the USA has named the leading one hundred companies in the field.

The organisation, CRO, has published what it sees as the 100 Best Corporate Citizens listed on American exchanges, looking at their social as well as environmental credentials.

The list is now in its eighth year and is recognised as a barometer of who is on the right track when it comes to CSR.

As might be expected, the environment was the prime CSR concern for many of the companies listed with a growing awareness of the need to reduce their carbon footprint and make a switch to sustainable materials where possible.

Eight out of the top ten were members of the Environmental Protection Agency's Green Power Partnership, an initiative to encourage corporate customers to buy electricity from renewable sources.

In the top spot was Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, holding its place as best corporate citizen in the USA for the second year in a row.

IT and communications companies did well in the rest of the top ten which read as follows: AMD, Nike, Motorola, Intel, IBM, Agilent Technologies, Timberland, Starbucks and General Mills.

Only 11 companies have been on the list since itsw launch eight years ago and these are: Intel, Timberland, Starbucks, Herman Miller, Cisco, Pitney Bowes, Southwest Airlines, Cummins, Ecolab, Brady Corp and St. Paul Travelers.

"The 100 Best distinguish themselves from their peers at other large public companies by embracing higher standards, combining strong financial performance with responsible practices on environmental and social issues," said Michael Connor, publisher of CRO magazine.

"We salute the 100 Best for their leadership roles in the field of corporate responsibility."

The list is drawn up from a corporate perspective rather than the traditional green agenda of many the environmental NGOs and appearing high in its ranks can be something of a poisoned chalice as being in the limelight draws attention to a company's CSR policy.

Companies scoring exceptionally well on social issues have in the past done well in the league table but found themselves criticised by Greenpeace and others for not doing as well on purely environmental issues.

Sam Bond



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