Publix Super Markets, an employee-owned supermarket chain, earned the No. 1 spot followed by Google and UPS in the 2011 ranking of the 50 companies with the best corporate citizenship reputations among the U.S. public as compiled by the Center for Corporate Citizenship and Reputation Institute.
The CSR Index was developed to understand how companies’ reputations are affected by public perceptions of performance related to citizenship (the community and the environment), governance (ethics and transparency) and workplace practices. Rankings in the 2011 CSR Index are based on a survey conducted in January 2011 of 7,790 online consumers in the United States.
Publix topped the rankings with a score of 80.59 on a 100-point scale, followed by Google at 77.10 and UPS at 76.16. Three other Center members made the top 10 of the CSR Index rankings: FedEx (75.73), Campbell Soup Company (75.40) and Baxter International (75.18), ranked seventh, eighth and ninth respectively.
This year ratings dropped, while public demands increased. Ethics and governance issues are in the spotlight. This year’s top score of 80.59 (on a 100-point scale) compares to the top score of 82.67 in 2010. According to Katherine V. Smith, executive director of the Carroll School of Management Center for Corporate Citizenship at Boston College:
Reputation is now widely accepted as a valuable intangible asset for firms, and as such it is an aspect of business that is earning increasing interest and attention from the C-suite and board. It is an indicator of how strongly connected consumers are to a brand. The effectiveness of a company’s reputation management will influence the bottom line – in either a positive or negative manner.