The Council on Economic Priorities (CEP), a New York City-based group, has been measuring corporate social responsibility since 1969. CEP considers more than 200 companies on disclosure, environment, minorities’ advancement, women’s advancement, workplace, family benefits and charitable giving. Just like in school, each company receives a grade of A through F in each category. The council also publishes “Shopping for a Better World,” an annual guide to socially responsible shopping. And CEP keeps a list of environmental laggards, urging consumers to help make a difference by refusing to support environmentally irresponsible companies.
The Dow Jones Sustainability Group Index (DJSGI), based in Zurich, Switzerland, tracks the performance of leading sustainable driven companies. With a market cap exceeding $5 trillion, the DJSGI comprises the top 10 percent of sustainable leaders from the Dow Jones Group Index. The 200 companies that make up the DJSGI outperformed their counterparts on the Dow Jones in the first year of the DJSGI’s existence (September 1999). In the last year, however, DJSGI stocks tumbled more quickly than the overall market. Dow Chemical and FedEx are part of the DJSGI, as well as companies such as Dell, Johnson & Johnson and Texaco. According to the Social Investment Forum?a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit association that promotes socially responsible investing?such investing accounts for more than $2 trillion in assets in the United States.