March has been a busy month for CSR rankings. CRO and Ethisphere both published their latest editions, joining RiskMetrics Group and Corporate Knights in offering their perspectives on the best of 2010. In my blog on Justmeans, I have posted comparisons of each of these four rankings to the others and plan to continue to research new rankings to bring into the mix.
I encourage those reading my posts to also check out recent articles in the Christian Science Monitor blog (“Are Corporate Social Responsibility Rankings Irresponsible?” by Christine Arena) and Slate (“It’s All Good: Beware of corporate consulting firms offering awards for corporate ethics”, by Will Evans), each raising questions about the integrity of these rankings. Of interest is how rankings tie into the larger business models of the companies that publish them. The Christian Science Monitor article questions the transparency of the rankings while the Slate piece discusses conflict of interests within the Ethisphere rankings.
So are such lists worth discussing at all? The consensus seems to be that regardless of the credibility of indices, lists are a good foundation for discussion. With this in mind, this week, I will be discussing sustainability indices, specifically the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, which gets a lot of attention and seems to avoid some of the scrutiny accorded to its brethren rankings. Stay tuned and please weigh in with your comments and observations.