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GSK, GE, Nestlé, Nike, Novozymes Among Companies ‘Changing the World’

Images credit: Fortune

Fortune has published the second edition of its “Change the World” list of the top 50 companies that are delivering positive social impact. Once again developed in partnership with Mark Kramer and Michael Porter’s non-profit social impact consulting firm FSG and their Shared Value Initiative, a platform for organizations seeking business solutions to social challenges, this year’s ranking focused on businesses that created shared value through activities that were also part of the companies’ core business strategy.

“More and more corporate leaders are … integrating societal needs into their corporate strategy, aligning their companies’ business missions with their impact on their communities and the environment,” Kramer and Porter wrote in an essay describing the list.

“This approach, which we call Creating Shared Value, is moving into the mainstream and growing exponentially,” they continue. “Companies that adopt shared-value thinking remain committed (as they should) to philanthropy and corporate social responsibility. But they’re moving beyond often-fuzzy notions like sustainability and corporate citizenship, and instead making measurable social impact central to how they compete — a powerful counterpoint to the fierce criticisms leveled at business in this tumultuous election year.”

Kramer and Porter go on to describe related shifts they have observed: social impact activities are transitioning from pilot projects and secondary markets to core markets and strategies, which in turn is driving strategic and structural transformations; and corporate leaders’ perspectives are changing focus from their products and services to the societal needs that their products and services meet. According to them, the companies on the Change the World list reflect the growing deeper understanding of the relationship between business and society.

After a nominations process and assessment in partnership with FSG and the Shared Value Initiative, Fortune writers and editors evaluated and ranked the companies based on three factors: (1) measurable social impact; (2) business results; and (3) degree of innovation. Companies with annual revenues of $1 billion or more were prioritized for the ranking.

Several of the companies that appeared in last year’s inaugural list made it again, including GlaxoSmithKline(GSK), which moved from number 6 to the top spot, and Sustainable Brands member companies Unilever and CVS Health, which moved up from numbers 28 and 31 to numbers 27 and 28, respectively.

Other companies of note in the new Top 50 include General Electric (#3), Nestlé (#5), Nike (#6), Novozymes (#9), Coca-Cola (#11), Walmart (#15), Bank of America (#16), Siemens (#21), Schneider Electric (#24), McDonald’s (#25), Johnson & Johnson (#31), PepsiCo (#38), Heineken (#43), Starbucks (#45), IBM (#47), and Tesla Motors (#50).

Launched in 2006, Sustainable Brands has become a global learning, collaboration, and commerce community of forward-thinking business and brand strategy, marketing, innovation and sustainability professionals who are leading the way to a better future. We recognize that brands today have… [Read more about Sustainable Brands]

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