May 1, 2006 – Five of the top 11 “corporate citizens” in the US come from the semiconductor industry, and more than 10% of the entire list comes from our industry, according to rankings from Business Ethics magazine.
Tops on the seventh-annual corporate citizens list is Vermont-based Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, followed by Hewlett-Packard (in the top 10 as it has been every year), AMD, Motorola, and Agilent Technologies. Texas Instruments came in 10th, followed by Intel at No. 11, Apple Computer at No. 25, Applied Materials at No. 35, and IBM at No. 41. Others on the list include Lam Research (78), Micron (82), Xilinx (91), and Air Products & Chemicals (92).
The list assigns a numerical rating on companies from the Russell 1000, S&P 500, and Domini 400 Social Indices, ranking performance on eight categories: shareholders, community, governance, diversity, employees, environment, human rights, and product. Social scores use an assessment from an independent research firm noting “strengths” and “concerns,” with each score based on a three-year average total return (stock appreciation plus dividends) through 2005. For example, strong scores are assigned in various categories for charitable giving over 1.5%/year, establishing volunteer programs, solid retirement benefits etc., while environmental violations, tax disputes, or workforce reductions earns a “concern.”
Motorola made the list for a third time, thanks to ranking second in environmental issues. First-timer AMD also scored well for its environmental efforts, having also been named to the US EPA’s “Green Power Top 25” list of organizations that voluntarily buy the most renewable energy. Intel earned the highest score of any company in employee relations.
Boise, Idaho-based Micron, also new to the list, won praise for its employee compensation plan, instituted in part to avoid layoffs, under which employees accept a lower base pay but share in a quarterly profit-sharing cash bonus of 10% of after-tax profits.
One general concern about technology companies is the issue of working conditions in suppliers’ factories overseas, but the magazine noted many are addressing this issue.