15 major companies that treat employees well, value customers, and invest in their communities

Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesMicrosoft CEO Satya Nadella.
  • Billionaire investor Paul Tudor Jones cofounded the nonprofit Just Capital in 2013 to measure what Americans want from corporations, and which of these corporations are contributing to a “more just” society.
  • Just issues an annual ranking of the world’s largest corporations based on how they are creating long-term value in the United States through strong relationships with employees, customers, and society at large.
  • This year’s ranking lists companies like Microsoft, Intel, and Procter & Gamble at the top.
  • This article is part of Business Insider’s ongoing series on Better Capitalism.

Billionaire investor Paul Tudor Jones recognised years ago that corporate social responsibility could be more than a buzzword.

In a 2015 TED Talk, he explained: “Now, over the past 50 years, we as a society have come to view our companies and corporations in a very narrow, almost monomaniacal fashion with regard to how we value them, and we have put so much emphasis on profits, on short-term quarterly earnings and share prices, at the exclusion of all else. It’s like we’ve ripped the humanity out of our companies.”

A couple years before that presentation, he cofounded Just Capital, a nonprofit that surveys Americans about their expectations of and wishes for big corporations, and then extensively analyses companies in the Russell 1000, the largest 1,000 companies listed in the United States. It also created an ETF with Goldman Sachs that tracks the top half of the companies it ranks, with precedent given to allow equal representation across industries.

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It recently released its third annual ranking of companies operating in a “just” manner, this year in partnership with Forbes, and Microsoft topped the list.

This year Just surveyed more than 9,000 Americans and found that, in order from most to least important, the stakeholders they care most about when considering companies to support or work for are: workers, customers, products, environment, jobs, communities, and leadership and shareholders.

While some companies in the top 15 faced controversies over the last year, from employee protests at Google (the primary subsidiary of Alphabet) to mass layoffs at General Motors, Just CEO Martin Whittaker said that each company’s history was considered over a five-year period running through mid-2018, and that his firm monitors the progress of any negative development and how companies respond to them.

This year’s top 100 companies may represent a wide variety of industries, as Whittaker noted, but the top 15 are tech heavy. We’ve highlighted some key developments that Just found notable in each company.

15. General Mills — Food company based in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Communities: Received top score for its transparency around the management of its supply chain.

Environment: Recycled 84% of its solid waste from production.

Workers: Offers up to three weeks off of paid vacation annually.

14. General Motors — Automobile manufacturer based in Detroit, Michigan

Workers: Conducted a pay equity analysis in 2017 and found parity in the female-to-male ratio for management, 97.5% for executives, and 97.7% for non-management.

Community: Recognises the standards set by the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the International Labour Organisation.

Company Leadership: Executive compensation is tied to “just” issues like global product quality.

13. AT&T — Telecommunications company based in Dallas, Texas

Flickr/Bill Bradford

Jobs: Employs 239,000 Americans, including those from its Time Warner acquisition.

Communities: Sponsors volunteer days for employees.

Environment: Aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% from 2008 by 2020, but exceeded goal by hitting 22.6% in 2017.

12. Accenture — Professional services company based in Dublin, Ireland

Environment: Has stopped moving 99% of its electronic waste to landfills.

Workers: Offers up to 80 hours of backup day care to employees annually.

Community: Has exceptional transparency around its philanthropy.

11. Humana — Healthcare provider based in Louisville, Kentucky


Workers: Offers many employee benefits, including on-site fitness centres, flexible working arrangements, and adoption assistance.

Products: Through relationships with health providers, it reaches nearly 2 million patients.

Customers: Has excellent transparency around privacy practices.

10. Cisco Systems — Networking hardware company based in San Jose, California

Ken Wolter/Shutterstock

Workers: Provides up to $US10,000 in tuition reimbursement and also invests in other forms of employee training.

Communities: Spent $US355 million on philanthropic causes, including job training programs around the world, in 2017.

Company Leadership: Has a public business ethics policy and code of conduct, and actively monitors and audits compliance with them.

9. Adobe Inc. — Computer software company based in Mountain View, California

Denis Linine/Shutterstock

Workers: Achieved pay parity in the US and is working on improving 80% parity across global offices.

Environment: Is committed to using 100% renewable energy by 2035.

Community: Matches employees’ charitable donations up to $US10,000 annually and grants $US250 to a cause of an employee’s choice for every 10 hours volunteered.

8. Procter & Gamble — Consumer goods company based in Cincinnati, Ohio

Workers: Management is rated highly by employees and has healthy relationships with employee unions.

Customers: Has not been involved in any major customer data breach or product controversies over the three years analysed.

Environment: Is committed to making all of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2030.

7. VMware — Computer software company based in Palo Alto, California

VMware, Facebook

Workers: Its latest pay study found there is 99% pay equity between female and male employees, and no discrepancies between white employees and employees of colour.

Environment: Reduced carbon emissions intensity by 23% last year, surpassing its goal of 10%.

Customers: Discloses customer privacy practices more extensively than its industry peers.

6. NVIDIA — Semiconductor and consumer tech company based in Santa Clara, California

Workers: Offers 22 weeks of paid maternity leave and 12 weeks for fathers, adoptive parents, and foster parents, as well as providing all with an additional eight weeks of flexible scheduling.

Customers: Monitors customer service quality and has biweekly reports on effectiveness.

Communities: Is a member of the Responsible Business Alliance and the Responsible Minerals Initiative.

5. IBM — Computer services company based in Armonk, New York

Communities: Has excellent transparency around its supply chain.

Environment: Had 22.9% of its electricity consumed come from renewable resources, exceeding its goal of 20% by 2020.

Workers: All parents receive 12 weeks of paid parental leave, and mothers can opt for up to eight more weeks.

4. Texas Instruments — Semiconductor company based in Dallas, Texas

Workers: Conducted a pay equity analysis, with public results, and found it has full gender parity.

Communities: Sources most of its products and services locally.

Environment: Pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% from 2015 to 2020, and by the end of 2017, had already reduced them by 41%.

3. Alphabet Inc. — Technology conglomerate based in Mountain View, California

Workers: Provides flexible work schedules and on-site day care services to all employees.

Communities: Launched a five-year commitment to $US1 billion in grants for job training, entrepreneurial support, and collecting data on racial injustice.

Jobs: As of late 2017, it was the largest tech employer in the US, with 55,546 American employees.

2. Intel — Semiconductor company based in Santa Clara, California

Communities: Received highest score for human rights practices in its supply chain, and worked with a third-party analyst to assess its practices.

Workers: Provided 2 million hours of skills training to 180,000 employees in 2017.

Environment: Is committed to restoring 100% of its annual water use (pure water is needed for semiconductor manufacture) by 2025.

1. Microsoft — Technology company based in Redmond, Washington

Bryan Thomas/Getty Images

Workers: Provides childcare assistance, like subsidies for childcare centres near its offices.

Environment: Made the largest ever corporate solar energy agreement in 2018, resulting in having more than have of its energy use come from renewable sources.

Communities: Publishes an annual human rights report for its global supply chain, and finds solutions to any areas it can improve upon.

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