Consistently good companies
Below is an excerpt from our recently-released report “2012 Good Company Index: It (Still) Pays to Be Good.”
Although Disney’s grade dropped, other Fortune 100 companies repeated strong performances on the Good Company Index™. In particular, FedEx, Procter & Gamble, American Express, Intel, Cisco Systems, United Parcel Service, and Best Buy all earned at least a solid B on both the 2011 and 2012 editions of the index (see table below).
Procter & Gamble stands out as a particularly worthy company, having achieved a B+ in both years. As with Time Warner, it had a neutral mark with respect to customers. But the consumer products giant earned high marks as an employer thanks to a Glassdoor.com rating of 3.8 of 5. P&G also made a solid showing as a steward, with a high score on the Newsweek Green Rankings and membership in the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index.
FedEx slipped some from an A- to a B. This was a rare year that the shipping specialist did not make the Fortune Best Companies to Work For list, which cost it a point in our scoring system. But FedEx did rate highly enough with employees at Glassdoor.com to earn one point as a Good Employer. It also stood out for good customer service at wRatings. And with a variety of environmental initiatives, a number of which we discussed in Good Company, FedEx scored highly on the Newsweek Green Rankings.
Apple bears special mention. Although it didn’t earn a solid B in both years of the index (it had a B- last year), it was one of the top three index performers this year along with Time Warner and P&G. Apple earned a B+, on the strength of a top good seller score, a high Newsweek Green Ranking, and lofty employee ratings at Glassdoor.com. Only a demerit for giving CEO Tim Cook the largest pay package of any company in the rankings prevented Apple from earning an A- grade.
Apple clearly has delighted customers with innovative products and services such as the iPad, FaceTime and Siri. But we find ourselves a bit troubled with the company’s high rating as an employer given evidence in recent years of less-than-decent treatment of Apple’s extended workforce in overseas factories run by partners. We have yet to find a reliable, comprehensive source of data on companies’ outsourced workers to include in our index calculations, though. Lacking such a data source, we can only rely on the enthusiasm direct employees have for Apple. And we also trust that the “technology-fueled people power” we discussed in Good Company—forces such as social media tools and a culture of personal disclosure—will continue to push Apple to improve the treatment of workers in its supply chain.