BP, followed by competitor Royal Dutch Shell Group and telecom provider Vodafone, top the 2005 Accountability Rating, a corporate rating of the world's 100 biggest grossing companies.
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The ratings were announced by AccountAbility, a think tank, and csrnetowrk, an international CSR consulting firm, which for the second year ranked companies on how their business strategies align with society's needs.
As AccountAbility CEO Simon Zadek put it, “The rating shows which companies recognize that implementing accountable management and addressing social and environmental issues today will build business value tomorrow.”
BP was No. 1 for the second year running, with a score of 78 out of 100. The remaining top 10 are: HSBC Holdings (No. 4); Carrefour (No. 5); Ford Motor (No. 6); Tokyo Electric Power (No. 7); Électricité de France (No. 8); Peugeot (No. 9); and Chevron (No. 10). The results were published in Monday's international edition of Fortune magazine.
Overall, the ratings show improved corporate accountability among the 100 companies, with the average score eight points higher than last year. The top 10, seven of which are European companies, scored an average of 63, which is nearly double the 32-point average across all 100 companies.
The rankings also show that American companies lag behind their European and Asian counterparts. AccountAbility reported that they generally score poorly on stakeholder engagement, nonfinancial reporting and third-party assurance. American companies are less likely to comply with internationally recognized labor, human rights and environmental standards.
Companies were rated on how firms worked with investors, community members, workers, and activists; governance issues; business strategy; performance management; non-financial reporting; and the use of independent reviews to double-check internal research and decision-making.
In another survey, The State of Corporate Citizenship in the U.S.: Business Perspectives in 2005, showed that executives view corporate citizenship as a fundamental part of their business. The biennial survey of 1,189 companies of varying sizes was conducted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Center for Corporate Citizenship and the Center for Corporate Citizenship at Boston College.
A majority of large businesses in the survey expressed commitment and involvement in workforce training (58 percent); supporting community development (56 percent); and improving product safety (56 percent), K-12 education (55 percent), and community college and higher education (51 percent).
Read the full ranking of the FORTUNE Global 100® at www.accountabilityrating.com.