Bringing the business case for sustainability to the forefront, Fortune has released its third annual Change the World list, which highlights companies who are having a positive social or environmental impact on the world through their core business strategy.
The fifty selected companies, which span a variety of industries, come from all across the globe and have annual revenues of at least $1 billion. In partnership with FSG and Shared Value Initiative, Fortune ranks companies across three main criteria:
- Measurable Social Impact: The reach, nature and durability of a company’s impact on one or more societal problems, such as income inequality, health outcomes and climate change.
- Business Results: The benefit the socially impactful work brings to the company. Profitability and contribution to shareholder value outweigh benefits to the company’s reputation.
- Degree of Innovation: How innovative the company’s effort is relative to that of others in its industry and whether other companies have followed its example.
Financial giant JPMorgan Chase secured the number one spot for 2017 for its ambitious campaign to kickstart an urban economic revival in Detroit. Adamant that revitalizing cities that were formerly prosperous manufacturing hubs is critical for US GDP growth, the company is filtering $250 million annually into community-building investments such as neighborhood revitalization projects and job-skills training. The effort has already created 1,00 jobs and seeded over 100 new businesses since 2014. Inspired by the program’s success, JPMorgan is expanding the model into more cities.
Rounding out the top five spots are Dutch life science company DSM — which is tackling climate change with its Project “Clean Cow” — Apple, which serves as a source of job creation and whose products facilitate important tools for education and research; Novartis, which introduced an innovative, value-based drug-pricing structure; and LeapFrog Investments, which launched a $135 million social-impact investing fund to help create financial safety nets in emerging markets in Asia and Africa.