Top 10: Most reputable companies
In modern business, a company’s reputation and its CSR initiatives are intrinsically linked. The 2019 Global RepTrak study conducted by the Reputation Institute explains that brand recovery and growth are most powerfully driven by accelerated CSR programmes, with the congruence between a brand’s jump in reputation and its increased CSR rating evident for both Netflix and Microsoft, among others. Here’s a breakdown of the leading brands by reputation in the world and the CSR initiatives driving the public’s positivity towards them.
10 | Bosch
Engineering titan Bosch is committed to applying its cutting-edge innovations to sustainability and ethical industrial growth. Internally, it is aiming for climate-neutrality across its direct, global sphere of influence in 2020, with a view to continually improving its climate protection endeavours through to 2030. It has also established a fresh company vision, “New Dimensions – Sustainability 2025”, which lays out a series of ambitious sustainability goals to be realised by 2025. The six-pronged strategy covers the length and breadth of sustainability and CSR focuses, and is sure to have a major, positive impact on Bosch’s environmental and societal impacts.
CEO: Volkmar Denner
HQ: Gerlingen, Germany
9 | Netflix
Famously reticent and ubiquitous streaming firm, Netflix, broke into Global RepTrak’s top 10 for the first time in 2019. While the intricacies of its CSR programmes are closely guarded, it noted in 2017 that it had made significant progress in its reduction of electricity use and boosted application of renewable energy sources. The Global RepTrak report added that its decision, following allegations of sexual misconduct spanning decades, to remove Kevin Spacey from the wildly popular House of Cards was indicative of Netflix’s dedication to doing what’s right by society despite the impact it could have on one of its leading shows.
CEO: Reed Hastings
Revenue: US$15.79bn (2018)
HQ: Los Gatos, CA, USA
8 | Michelin
French tyre manufacturer Michelin redesigned its sustainable development governance strategy in 2017 to ensure its values and goals would be reflected across the group. Internal committees focused on the environment, human rights, ethics and sustainable mobility regularly review progress on the firm’s exhaustive 2020 ambitions across its supply and value chains. The company has also promoted employee awareness of its sustainable development commitments, ensuring the ethos is present and enacted by staff from the bottom to the top.
CEO: Florent Menegaux
SVP Sustainable Development and Mobility: Nicolas Beaumont
Revenue: €22.03bn (2018)
HQ: Clermont-Ferrand, France
7 | Canon
In 1988, Japanese imaging and optical products manufacturer Canon adopted the corporate philosophy, Kyosei: “the aspiration to create a society in which all people, regardless of race, language or culture, harmoniously live and work together for the common good into the future”. Inter-industry sustainability partnerships, an ongoing expansion of its medical business to ensure its innovations reach patients, enablement of smart city infrastructure through cutting-edge optical technology, and advancing the development of semiconductors for the benefit of almost all modern tech, are just a handful of examples of how Canon is strategically driven towards social and economic betterment.
CEO: Fujio Mitarai
Revenue: ¥3.4trn (2016)
HQ: Tokyo, Japan
6 | Sony
Sony is an old hand at sustainability and CSR. Having established the Sony Environmental Conference in 1976, it subsequently released its debut environmental report in 1994, followed by its first CSR report in 2003. With the view that the corporate world cannot survive without the natural world, Sony is a member of the RE100. It is also committed to slashing CO2 emissions from its operations (since 2016, the cumulative reduction in emissions through the use of renewables has hit 238,000 tonnes), drastically reducing the waste it creates, protecting and bolstering biodiversity at its sites and cutting the emissions of its logistical processes.
CEO: Kenichiro Yoshida
Revenue: ¥8.6trn (2019)
HQ: Tokyo, Japan
5 | Microsoft
As a technological powerhouse, it’s no surprise that Microsoft’s sustainability and CSR strategies are rooted in enabling people through tech. The breadth of its CSR programmes is staggering, and they include but are not limited to: offering the tools to upskill people for the digital age; infusing its products with robust cybersecurity capabilities in defense of privacy as a fundamental human right; evaluating and enhancing the sustainability of its sites and product chains; and conducting a range of philanthropy programmes whose focuses range from empowering nonprofits with the latest tech (such as disaster relief organisation Team Rubicon) to enhancing the economic growth of its native Washington.
CEO: Satya Nadella
Chief Environmental Officer: Lucas Joppa
Revenue: US$125.8bn (2019)
HQ: Redmond, WA, USA
4 | Adidas
Infused with the knowledge that sport promotes health, both physically and psychologically, along with its wider strategy of “Creating the New”, Adidas’s 2020 Sustainability Roadmap is focused on sustainable innovations along sport value and supply chains. Its targets, spread between priorities for its products and people, strive to maximise the sustainability of manufacturing and logistics, and empower workers across its operations with the tools to both drive value for the business whilst feeling appreciated and secure.
CEO: Kasper Rørsted
SVP Social and Environmental Affairs: Frank Henke
Revenue: €21.92bn (2018)
HQ: Herzogenaurach, Germany
3 | DIsney
Owner of practically everything you ever enjoyed as a child, Disney is a stellar example of how a powerful CSR programme is a reassurance to those concerned for the stewardship of such things.
The company’s 2018 CSR report highlights the extensive work it conducts across environment, healthy living, and volunteering. It is on-track to meet its 2020 targets – which themselves have regular reviews for their validity and utility – in each area. One of its 2018 targets, to maintain potable water consumption at 2013 levels, was smashed as the firm reduced its consumption by 5.8% compared to the 2013 baseline.
CEO: Robert Iger
SVP, Enterprise Social Responsibility: Elissa Margolis
Revenue: US$59.43bn (2018)
HQ: Burbank, CA, USA
2 | LEGO
In LEGO, we have not only one of the world’s most recognised toy brands but also the most reputable. In recent years, LEGO’s self-reflexive sustainability strategies have inspired it to develop LEGO bricks made from polyethylene produced through sustainably source sugarcane. This, a vital step towards its commitment to its products being made 100% sustainably, is in addition to its expansive CSR initiatives. Among these, LEGO donated US$100mn to support children affected by the Syrian and Rohingya crises, along with refugee children in Bangladesh, Jordan and Lebanon, in partnership with Sesame Workshop, BRAC, the International Rescue Committee, and NYU’s Global TIES for Children.
CEO: Niels B Christiansen
Vice President for Corporate Responsibility: Tim Brooks
Revenue: 37.9bn Danish kroner (2016)
HQ: Billund, Denmark
1 | Rolex
In line with the ethos of founder Hans Wilsdorf (who viewed extreme locales, and their explorers, as ideal quality testers for Rolex’s watches), Rolex supports the work of modern-day explorers – namely those exploring ways to “make the planet perpetual”. Under the Perpetual Planet strategy, Rolex is partnered with National Geographic to support scientific research of extreme environments as a means to better understand life-supporting systems, and its Awards for Enterprise have been honouring exceptional pioneers in environment, exploration, science, health, cultural heritage and applied technology for over 40 years.
CEO: Jean-Frederic Dufour
Revenue: US$4.6bn (2016)
HQ: Geneva, Switzerland