Publix Super Markets, Google and UPS have taken the top spots in the Corporate Social Responsibility Index, a ranking of the 50 companies with the best corporate citizenship reputations among the U.S. public.
Rounding out the top ten were Kellogg’s, Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, FedEx, Campbell’s, Baxter International and 3M.
But the index revealed an overall drop in ratings of companies’ social responsibility, suggesting that the public this year is more demanding of companies. Scores dropped across the board, and this year’s top score of 80.59 (out of 100) compares to 82.67 in 2010.
The Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship, together with the Reputation Institute, developed the index to understand how companies’ reputations are affected by public perceptions of performance related to citizenship (the community and the environment), governance (ethics and transparency) and workplace practices. Rankings in the 2011 CSR Index are based on a survey conducted in January 2011 of 7,790 online consumers.
Among the 286 companies measured in the 2011 CSR Index, 10 rated scores of 75 or higher, placing them in the “excellent” category, and another 57 scored 70 or more, to reach the “strong” category.
The top-ranked companies last year were Johnson & Johnson, The Walt Disney Company, Kraft Foods, Microsoft, Pepsico, Apple, Hershey’s and SC Johnson. Kellogg’s and Google came 9th and 10th last year, making them the only companies to make the top ten two years in a row.
BCCCC said that the top 50 companies this year (pictured) represent an elite group of brands, with less than ten points between No. 1 and No. 50.
Companies’ public perception does not appear to correlate with their transparency, as measured by the Carbon Disclosure Project. Amazon and Berkshire Hathaway were both among the largest ten non-responding companies in CDP’s Global 500.
The CSR Index was created using data collected for Reputation Institute’s Global Pulse 2011. A Pulse score averages feelings of trust, esteem, admiration and good feeling taken from a representative sample of at least 100 respondents familiar with the company.