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Abercrombie & Fitch, Weight Watchers Make ‘Black List’ of Least Transparent Firms

Abercrombie & Fitch and Weight Watchers are just a few of the biggest brands on Corporate Responsibility (CR) magazine’s inaugural “Black List” of the 30 least transparent companies when it comes to disclosing information about their practices in the environment, climate change, human rights, philanthropy, employee relations, finance and governance.

The “Black List” is based on the same data compiled by CR for its “100 Best Corporate Citizens” ranking. Companies on the Black List represent the least transparent companies in the Russell 1000, disclosing “virtually zero” data points, reports CR magazine.

CR said these companies only need to make a few corporate responsibility-related data points public to get removed from the list. Case in point: The publication expects Abercrombie & Fitch to rise above the Black List thanks to the recent launch of its AF Cares campaign, reports Trading Markets.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s new climate change disclosure guidance requires companies to report on how climate change will impact their businesses.

CR used the same 349 data points in seven categories it used for the 100 Best Companies and contacted each of the companies to request any data to correct their files.  All 30 companies tie for last in every category with the exception of the three-year total return.

When CR looked at shareholder value returns for companies at the top and bottom of the list, it revealed a three-year average total return of negative 7.38 percent for Black List companies compared to 2.37 percent for the 100 Best Companies. The average for the entire Russell 1000 was negative 5.4 percent.

The companies with the worst three-year total returns are Central European Media Enterprises (negative 30.39 percent), SL Green Realty (negative 24.77), Scientific Games (negative 21.63), Abercrombie & Fitch (negative 19.04 percent), and Weight Watchers (negative 15.89 percent).

Click here (PDF) for CR’s Black List.

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