Fortune unveiled its 2016 “Change the World” roster of 50 companies tackling major social and environmental challenges through their core business. Topping the list is pharmaceuticals firm GlaxoSmithKline, which the magazine credits for its vaccine development, basing drug prices on income levels in the countries where it operates, and reinvesting a share of profits in poor countries in local health-care facilities.
Israel-based IDE Technologies ranks No. 2 for its operation of some of the world’s largest desalination plants, providing fresh water in countries dry regions and countries. Rounding out the top five are General Electric, drug maker Gilead Sciences (which led The Chronicle’s list of last year's top corporate donors), and food giant Nestlé.
Fortune says it bases the rankings not on firms’ direct philanthropy and “corporate social responsibility” efforts but on how they bring their business model and investments to bear on achieving “scalable positive change.” In another article in its “Change the World” issue, the magazine looks at how corporate managers and boards are mainstreaming the idea of aligning business missions with their impact on communities and social issues.
Read a Chronicle of Philanthropy article on companies orienting their giving to mesh with core operations.