Disney logoIt’s a source of constant discussion and debate.   Which companies excel at corporate social responsibility?   The latest survey of U.S. firms – based on consumer sentiment – puts the Walt Disney Company on top, with Microsoft Corp a close second.

The survey was published by the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship (BCCCC), which said the results were based on data collected for Reputation Institute’s 2009 Global Reputation Pulse Study.

According to BCCCC, “Researchers use a subset of survey results that focus on more than 200 companies with a dominant presence in the United States and believed to have a reasonably high recognition factor with the general public.  The data captures public perception about a company’s corporate citizenship, governance and workplace practices in the United States.”

So the candidate pool is small – compared to other surveys of corporate citizenship – and favors large publicly-held companies with a strong consumer interface.  In that context, BCCCC said the 10 companies sitting atop the so-called CSR Index were:

  • Walt Disney Company
  • Microsoft
  • Google
  • Honda
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • PepsiCo.
  • General Mills
  • Kraft Foods
  • Campbell Soup Company
  • FedEx

BCCC said the “research shows that the general public tends to rate makers of consumer products, computers and beverages higher along social dimensions. Industries that fall below the global average include banking, finance, oil and gas, utilities and telecommunications. Reputation Institute, which measures corporate reputation in more than 25 countries annually, notes that the U.S. public put a higher premium on ethics and governance practices.”

Unfortunately, lists like these ignore the role of small businesses, which constitute 99 percent of American employers and employ more than half the U.S. non-farm private sector workforce.

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