A major nonprofit ranked U.S. companies for doing the best for their communities, workers, and the environment, and Salesforce and PayPal made huge jumps from last year.
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- Billionaire investor Paul Tudor Jones cofounded the nonprofit Just Capital in 2013 to measure what Americans want from corporations, and which of these corporations are contributing to a "more just" society.
- Just issues an annual ranking of America's largest 1,000 corporations based on how they are creating long-term value in the United States through strong relationships with employees, customers, and society at large.
- A "just" company is one that does right by all of their stakeholders.
- The top 100 this year had a 6% higher return on equity than the rest of those in the Russell 1000.
- This year's top 10 include Microsoft, Apple, and Procter & Gamble.
- This article is part of Business Insider's ongoing series on Better Capitalism.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Over the past few years, the largest corporations in the United States have recognized that investing in their employees and communities can do more than give them material for a nice press release, and that it actually increases the long-term health of their business. The nonprofit Just Capital has also recognized this, and has used its annual rankings and research to laud the companies doing the most.
For this year's ranking of the "most just" companies, Microsoft took the No.1 spot for the second year in a row, and was joined in the top 10 by fellow tech giants Alphabet, the parent company of Google, and Apple. The only non-tech companies atop the list were the consumer goods stalwart Procter & Gamble and the health insurance provider Anthem, the latter jumping up to No.7 from No. 52.
A "just" company is one that does right by all of its stakeholders.
The billionaire investor Paul Tudor Jones started Just in 2013, noting in a TED Talk that "we've ripped the humanity out of our companies" through decades of shareholder primacy, which he felt resulted in short-term profits at all costs. Just was intended to counteract that movement. The pushback that Jones talked about has gained tremendous momentum in the mainstream business conversation, and it's something we've been tracking at Business Insider in our Better Capitalism series.
Earlier this year, the Business Roundtable, a lobbying group of around 200 of the country's top CEOs, echoed Jones and declared that companies had to move to a stakeholder perspective, where customers, employees, and communities were given equal weight with shareholders when making significant decisions.
Just has been ranking the largest 1,000 public companies in America, minus REITs and utility companies, for the past four years, and this year's ranking was done in tandem with Forbes. The researchers found that the top 100 companies in their ranking this year, compared to the others analyzed, pay 31% more to their median worker, give 8.4 times more to charity, have 25% more women on their board, are 32% more likely to have established environmental policies, and, notably, have a 6% higher return-on-equity.
You can find the full ranking at Just's website and the top 10 below. We've highlighted key developments over the past year that Just highlighted for each.
10. VMware — Computer software company based in Palo Alto, California (down from 7.)
9. Procter & Gamble — Consumer goods company based in Cincinnati, Ohio (down from 8.)
8. PayPal —Digital payments company based in San Jose, California (up from 45.)
7. Anthem — Health insurance provider based in Indianapolis, Indiana (up from 52.)
6. Alphabet — Technology conglomerate based in Mountain View, California (down from 3.)
5. Salesforce.com — Enterprise software company based in San Francisco, California (up from 29.)
4. Intel — Semiconductor company based in Santa Clara, California (down from 2.)
3. Apple — Technology hardware company based in Cupertino, California (up from 16.)
2. NVIDIA — Semiconductor and consumer tech company based in Santa Clara, California (up from 6.)
1. Microsoft — Technology company based in Redmond, Washington (remains at 1.)
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