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March 17, 2012
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Leveraging Deficits: How the Best Corporate Citizens drove more effective cross-sector collaboration during the Great Recession

In last week's blog post, I pointed to the emergence of a "renaissance" in how companies, NGOs, and governments are collaborating to tackle some of our toughest challenges. This week I'm going to look in-depth at the specific new models and practices we're seeing emerge. 
Throughout 2011 we looked for successful practices in cross-sector collaboration by examining commitments made as part of the annual COMMIT!Campaign and by talking with CR Magazines Best Corporate Citizens. There were stark differences in the way these organizations engage with NGOs and governments as compared with most companies and donors. The best:

100 Best 2009 Methodology & Penalty Box

On Oct. 30, 2008, 27 practitioners—corporate members of the CRO Association—gathered in Chicago to openly debate the methodology for the 10th Annual 100 Best Corporate Citizens List®. Everyone emerged a little unhappy. In other words, it was an ideal outcome.



CRO Rings the Closing Bell on NASDAQ 3/19


Watch the video here

And previously, 100 Best Corporate Citizens Featured on Fox Business News:


100 Best Corporate Citizens 2009—Full Story

When someone next asks you to define “corporate transparency,” show them this:

The 10th Annual CRO 100 Best Corporate Citizens List (pdf)

Why? Three reasons. First, CRO’s 10th annual 100 Best List (compiled by IW Financial and edited by CRO) is completely based on publicly available information. That means the list’s sources are public places accessible to anyone researching Russell 1000® companies—non-secure websites, government and regulatory sources, investment publications and NGO databases.

Second, the methodology used to compile this year’s 100 Best list was debated and voted on in open session by 27 leading corporate responsibility practitioners representing nine major industry segments October 2008 at the CRO Conference in Chicago.

And lastly, for the first time ever, each listed company was asked to review the underlying data in advance of this publication to make sure no publicly available citation was overlooked. Of the 1,011 data edit requests we got back from the listees, 28.3 percent were validated and resulted in data changes. The result? Our most transparent 100 Best list.


100 Best Corporate Citizens Repeat Performers

The following companies have been on the 100 Best Corporate Citizens list for all nine years:

  • Intel Corp.
  • Starbucks Coffee Co.
  • Cisco Systems Inc.

In the Penalty Box

As we have done in the past, CRO did a final review of companies mathematically qualified for 100 Best 2008 and took scandals into consideration. For the first time, this year we are disclosing the reasons behind our scandal analysis. As a result of our scandal review, we put the companies below in the Penalty Box. They were involved in a recent (during the past three years) major public scandal (involving a significant government- or regulator-imposed fine; major government-initiated lawsuit; admission of guilt or conviction; major corporate governance lapse; or other comparable infraction).


Methodology: Transparency, Policy, Performance Weighed Heavily in the Rankings

Climate Change, Environment did much to settle scores

In determining CRO’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens 2008, CRO evolved the 9-year-old process in four significant ways.


100 Best Corporate Citizens 2008

This list—CRO’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens 2008—matters.

If you think for a minute that it doesn’t, then get on the phone or sit upright at your computer to listen to or read some of the phone calls and e-mails CRO magazine received from irate companies that found themselves MIA from the list or lower in the rankings than they would have liked.

Somewhere in a corporate boardroom or in the compliance officer’s suite, rest assured that an Excel wizard is analyzing the category ranks and studying the algorithm, trying to figure out what Intel (No. 1) did right in Environment or Climate Change, or why a competitor ascended or nosedived this year in the ordering.

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