Like most investors, you probably aim for
the best possible return
when picking potential investments. But as consumers increasingly
clamor for companies to
embrace social responsibility
, good corporate citizenship is fast becoming a vital part of any
business or stock's success.
magazine recently released its "100 Best Corporate Citizens" list,
in which it rated members of the Russell 1000 large-cap index on
more than 300 different elements related to responsible behavior.
In the coming weeks, I'll delve into each of the seven categories
that contribute to a company's overall score.
Today, we'll look at philanthropy, which gets a 9% weighting.
Here are some of the top-10 rated companies in this category:
Procter & Gamble
To earn their high scores, the companies above engaged in a
variety of good deeds, including donating in-kind gifts and loaned
talent (along with cash, of course), paying employees who
volunteer, having retiree volunteers, and offering employee
volunteer services. Here are just some of the things that the
companies above do:
- Spectra Energy encourages employee volunteerism, with workers
logging more than 28,000 hours on volunteer projects in a recent
year. The company also matches donations dollar for dollar, up to
- Procter & Gamble has embedded some of its giving in
consumer programs, offering to donate to various charities when
people buy certain products. When disaster strikes around the
world, P&G often sends goods to help, including the 6 million
PUR packets it dispatched to Haiti to provide clean water for
- McGraw-Hill has a Financial Literacy Now campaign, through
which it hopes to reach 100,000 students and adults. It also
supports organizations such as microcredit provider
(which the Fool has also supported).
- Lubrizol was unknown to most until Warren Buffett's
recently announced plans to buy it. Its Lubrizol Foundation
administers a donation matching program and recognizes employee
volunteers. The company donated $2.4 million in its last reported
- Johnson Controls was rated No. 1 overall, and sixth in
philanthropy. Between 2008 and 2010, its employees logged nearly
380,000 hours volunteering, while the company donated almost $35
Companies that take benevolent actions can not only lift your
spirits, but also
boost your portfolio
. In its first nine years, companies on the "100 Best
Corporate Citizens" list outperformed the Russell 1000 over the
ensuing three-year period by more than 25%. That's a great
motivation for even the most coolly rational investors to take
social responsibility to heart.
Procter & Gamble
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Longtime Fool contributor
owns shares of
Berkshire Hathaway and Procter & Gamble.
Accenture and Berkshire Hathaway are
Motley Fool Inside Value
choices. Berkshire Hathaway is a
Motley Fool Stock Advisor
selection. Procter & Gamble and Spectra Energy
Motley Fool Income Investor
selections. The Fool owns shares of Berkshire
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