A friend of mine sent me the new list of the 1000 most sustainable companies in the world and a blogger’s write up of the ranking compiled for JustMeans by CRD Analytics. I agree that this is an amazingly important and rigorously researched list — The Global 1000 Sustainable Performance Leaders. Elaine Cohen, the CSR blogger, calls it the “Gold Standard for assessing and ranking the overall sustainability performance of public Companies. She went on to report : “Diving deeper into the data shows that the economy delivering the highest number of sustainably performing companies is Japan (with 191 of the total G1000), followed by the USA (163) and Great Britain (144). Sector-wise, the metals and mining sector leads with 68 companies in the G1000, followed by chemical companies (63) and commercial banks (63). ” Not what I would have guessed which makes the list even more interesting.
What also caught my attention, however, was her mention of chronic list fatigue. “The G1000 appears to be an appropriate solution to what has become ‘ranking-fatigue’ over the past few years. The multitude of rankings, ratings, lists and proud press releases, including the most recent DJSI 2010 pronouncements, which together show little or no correlation between the most sustainable corporate citizens in each list, not only confuses, but can positively mislead.” I was glad she mentioned the fatigue issue which I believe I have remarked on as well. We often get called about reputation rankings (which we call Scorecards and fall under our Scoreboxx offering) . We are often asked which one to believe and what is the difference between this one and another one and what is the most important. We also get asked for estimates on how long it takes to apply for a particular ranking. Surprisingly, we have an idea. As reputation scorecard experts, I would answer, “it depends.” It depends on the quality of the ranker and importantly, who did the rating — employees, investors, consumers, executives, industry peers, etc. There are as many answers to what is important to a company as a reputation-builder as there are rankings. It would be great if there was just one ranking but there are many….in fact hundreds.
Just this week ,the Interbrand survey of top global brands was released. Over lunch last week, someone mentioned a survey that pitted non-Ivy league vs Ivy-league schools against each other according to employers. State schools won out for the best candidates for entry level positions. Penn State performed best and the Ivies were put to shame. The reasons why are enunciated in the article. An interesting read.
The Fortune World’s Most Admired is probably on its way to companies in the next few weeks. Ranking fever arrives. Wondering if there is a cure.