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Ranking the Best Corporate Citizens

December 13, 2004

(Dec. 13, 2004) In the last of a series of four articles looking at corporations, 'Beyond the Balance Sheet,' Forbes magazine ranks some of the largest for-profits on the basis of corporate citizenship.

The magazine uses the rankings developed by KLD Research & Analytics, an investment research firm in Boston that assesses corporations and their charitable work to help institutional investors and money managers who want to steer money toward good corporate citizens.

The rankings grade organizations in four areas - diversity, community, human rights and the environment - and include quantitative and subjective measures of citizenship. In the former category they look at such measures as charitable donations as a percent of pretax earnings, or the percentage of subcontracting with women- or minority-owned businesses. The subjective measures include such matters as whether a company has an innovative hiring program for the disabled.

No corporation received the highest ranking in all four categories. Hewlett-Packard was the only organization to receive three 'A's', although it did receive a 'C' in the human rights category. Bank of America, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Intel and Wells Fargo each received two 'A's.'

Wal-Mart Stores and several energy companies received some of the overall worst grades.

The complete rankings of the corporations involved in the study are available online at the Forbes website.

Forbes also addressed other issues in its 'Beyond the Balance Sheet' series, including corporate integrity, top corporate brands and innovation. Each of those articles is available online at the Forbes website (scroll to the bottom of the page for the different articles). Registration may be required to view some of the articles, but they can all be read for free.