Good for businesss: Corporate Social Responsibility report 2010

Our second annual survey of companies in Canada that prove it pays to have a conscience

For many successful companies, corporate social responsibility (CSR) is no longer just a boardroom buzzword, but a key to business. So, for the second year in a row, Maclean’s has partnered with Jantzi-Sustainalytics, a global leader in sustainability analysis, to present the country’s Top 50 Socially Responsible Corporations.

While the reasons each company was selected vary—from Gildan Activewear donating more than half a million dollars to Haitian relief efforts, to Loblaw’s commitment to acquiring all of its seafood from sustainable sources by 2013, to Nike making World Cup jerseys for nine national teams out of bottles found in landfills—the underlying goal is the same: make the world a better place. As well as the Top 50 list, which begins on page 42, we look into how CSR might help with major PR problems, like BP’s oil spill, and whether the recession made the business world any less socially responsible.

ALSO AT MACLEANS.CA – The full list of the Jantzi-Maclean’s 50 Most Socially Responsible Corporations

By Jantzi-Sustainalytic analysts:
Azadeh Sabour, Annie White, Dayna Linley, Gurneesh Bhandal, Heather Lang, Irene Sosa, Jennifer Penikett, Laurence Loubieres, Lidija Marjanovic, Matthew Barg, Non­vignon ­Kpadonou, Rachel Birenbaum, Rohan Padhye, Sheila Oviedo, Simon MacMahon, Stephanie LeNguyen, Melissa Chase, Sarah Smith and Eusis Dougan-McKenzie

METHODOLOGY: The methodology: The Top 50 Socially Responsible Corporations in Canada were selected on the basis of their performance across a broad range of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) indicators tracked by Jantzi-Sustainalytics. The selected companies rank at the top of their respective peer groups in Jantzi- Sustainalytics’ Global Platform. These companies have demonstrated strong performance in areas such as environmental initiatives, impact on local communities, treatment of employees and supply-chain management. Some are notable for their development of products or services that contribute directly to sustainability.

Each of the companies featured is either Canadian-listed or a wholly owned subsidiary of a foreign-listed company with significant operations or brand presence in Canada.

Each of the companies has a significant market capitalization or brand presence in Canada and is featured on at least one of the following lists: the ROB Top 1000, the ROB Top 350 or Interbrand’s Best Canadian or Best Global Brands lists.

Given that Canadian subsidiaries of foreign companies are inextricably linked to their parent companies, the evaluation is based on the performance of the foreign corporate entities. Jantzi-Sustainalytics’ research process includes a thorough examination of company documents, media sources, online databases, government sources and NGO research, as well as direct communication with key stakeholders.

Analysts use a Best-of-Sector™ methodology to compare companies within a given peer group to industry best practices. Jantzi-Sustainalytics’ research is used by some of the world’s largest institutional and individual investors who consider environmental, social and governance performance, in addition to financial performance, in the management of their investments.

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Jantzi-Maclean’s 50 Most Socially Responsible Corporations 2010
A conscience choice
When things get messy