Which companies have the strongest CSR reputation in the world? Which are perceived as the most responsible? Back to the “CSR Rep Track” ranking, published by the renowned Reputation Institute.
The importance of CSR for the reputation of brands
The links between CSR and a company’s reputation have now been clearly established. As we know, when a company has a strong and effective CSR policy (and makes it known), its reputation and brand image improve. And on the contrary, when the perception of a company’s CSR is bad, its image deteriorates. (See the definition of CSR in our CSR dictionary)
That is why today, more and more companies are seeking to improve their CSR reputation. Informing its stakeholders of the means implemented in the framework of its CSR and the results obtained is a strategy adopted by more and more large companies. For this reason, the Reputation Institute, which specializes in the study of corporate image and reputation (as well as their e-reputation), has been working for several years to establish a ranking of the companies with the best CSR reputation.
Once again this year, the Institute delivered its ranking of the most renowned companies. The ranking started 10 years ago and is based on a survey of nearly 60,000 consumers in 15 countries each year (6 million cumulative responses since the launch of the study), regarding the reputation of more than 3,000 companies (with a turnover of 1 billion or more globally, or 6 million in the USA). 7 dimensions of corporate reputation were analyzed, including 3 which constitute the “CSR reputation” of these companies (governance, citizenship, and working conditions). So then, which companies have the best CSR reputation?
The top 100 companies with the best CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) reputation
Once again, Google takes the top spot in the ranking this year. Despite the enormous environmental impact of the Internet sector, the web giant is doing well in the CSR domain for several reasons. First, the company is known as one of the most eco-friendly companies in the Internet industry: it was second just behind Apple in the ranking published by Greenpeace on this subject. This score is the result of a vast investment program in green energy, which allows the web giant to power its data center with 100% renewable electricity. Google has also made a buzz with its philanthropic foundation, Google.org, which has several hundred billion dollars of funds to fight poverty and grow sustainable development. But most importantly, the image that consumers retain of Google is that of a young, dynamic company with a real wellness program at work and a real strategy allowing its employees to be more productive (high salaries, cultural or sports infrastructures dedicated to their employees, services provided by the company, etc.). First place therefore goes to Google, in the view of consumers, despite the controversies created by Google on privacy in particular.
Second in the ranking, another web giant, Microsoft, whose reputation is also widely taken up by investments in renewable energy and a proactive policy on well-being at work and welfare of employees (ranked 7th in Great Place to Work). Microsoft is also known for its philanthropic actions, and the name of the company is also often associated with that of its founder Bill Gates, who gave several billion dollars to the philanthropy and development of the countries of the South.
It is Walt Disney Company that completes the podium, a natural position for a company whose image is spotless, and whose strategy on ethics, governance, and citizenship is widely recognized.
In the rest of the top 10, we find BMW, Lego, Daimler, Apple, Rolls Royce, Rolex, and Intel. The entire top 100 list is available below.
The complete ranking of the most reputable companies
Of course, this list does not indicate which are the most responsible companies. It merely gives reflects the consumer perception of these issues. If these companies are well ranked, they have succeeded in communicating effectively on their CSR strategies, but that does not necessarily mean that these strategies are the most effective in the world! And above all, the ranking excludes de facto certain companies (SMEs or companies that are little known to the general public).
But, this is one more proof that CSR is synonymous with reputation, and therefore with economic and financial performance!