Rated Ranking: Fortune Change the World 2015

Fortune Change the World Ranking 2015


The Change the World Ranking unites two gorillas. Several Fortune Rankings are of highest influence worldwide. Michael Porter’s and Mark Kramer’s Shared Value Initiative is a globally known and influential initiative to integrate sustainability into business strategy. The Change the World Ranking also closes a gap in Fortune’s ranking-universe as there was no sustainability ranking so far.

The ranking is entirely built on the judgment of a jury consisting of “dozens of experts” from all over the world and Fortune’s editors. By this it is clearly distinct from other major sustainability rankings, which are all purely data based. It considers four criteria: degree of business innovation involved, the measurable impact at scale on an important social challenge, the contribution of the shared-value activities to the company’s profitability and competitive advantage, and the significance of the shared value effort to the overall business. In a two-step process the universe of companies introduced by the experts is boiled down to some 200 and then to the list of 50 companies published. Fortune’s editors seem to be responsible for the final list.

The makers explain themselves that it is not their intention to provide a ranking of “good” or “social responsible” companies but to shed a spotlight on positive examples where companies have a considerable impact on social or environmental problems while still operating within their profit-making strategy. Therefore the list is a combination of projects and corporations making it hard to compare the results.

This year’s Change the World ranking is headed by a joint project of Vodafone and Safaricom called M-Pesa, which gives people without bank account in countries like in East Africa but also in Romania and Albania a possibility to save and transfer money. Runners-up are Google/Alphabet (several projects like Scholar, Books, Translate etc.) and Toyota for its Hybrid-Technology. Among the top 10 are two pharmaceutical companies, two other Internet giants, but also Walmart and a Utility company. This demonstrates the diversity of the companies and projects in this ranking making it hard to compare and assess the standings.

This approach leaves space for criticism e.g. the question about the usefulness of such a collection of exemplary projects in form of a ranking. But on the other hand it opens space for discussion on sustainable business models and projects within the for-profit-business framework worldwide – which is definitely a top agenda item of Porter’s and Kramer’s Shared Value Initiative. But the ranking also serves the PR-goal to keep awareness high for FSG and the Shared Value Initiative. Furthermore it would help to get some more transparency on the experts involved and the indicators behind the criteria.

So it remains to be seen whether the Change the World Ranking will become a more useful ranking in the next years – providing further insights on whether a corporation proceeded in its development and where a company stands compared to its peers – or whether it will stay to be a probable highly influential and with no doubt credible collection of best practice. The results are available here.

Relevance / Impact
– 13 points –
Added Value / Insights
– 7 points –

Trustworthiness / Intention
– 13 points –
– 7 points –

Aggregated points
– 40 (out of 60) –
Highly valuable ranking

Useful ranking with some flaws

Partially useful ranking with considerable flaws

< 30
Useless ranking

Reach of publication:

  • Global, e.g. North America, Europe and Asia (5 points)
  • Regional, e.g. Europe or North America (3 points)
  • Large national market: e.g. US, China, Japan, Germany, France, UK, Italy, Brazil (2 points)
  • Mid-sized or small market, e.g. Switzerland, Netherlands, Argentina, Singapore (1 point)

Ranking will be recognized by key stakeholders:

  • Opinion Leaders (Politicians, Professors; NGO’s) (2 points)
  • Business Advisory Board, C-Level Executives (CEO, CCO, CFO, CMO) (2 points)
  • High Potentials & Top Talents (employer market, students) (2 points)
  • Financial Market (2 points)
  • General Public (2 points)

Aggregated points: 13 (of max. 15)

Is the owner providing the ranking a credible and trustworthy organization?

  • Ranking owner has limited credibility and reputation. (1 point)
  • Ranking owner has fair credibility and reputation. (3 points)
  • Ranking owner has excellent credibility and reputation. (5 points)

Comment: Consulting firm FSG has excellent credibility in the field of Sustainability and CSR.

What is the ranking owner’s intention to produce and disseminate the ranking?

  • Ranking is predominantly a tool to raise awareness for the owner with the possible intention to sell consultancy services. (1 point)
  • Ranking is partly a tool to raise awareness for the owner with the possible intention to sell consultancy services. (3 points)
  • Ranking is predominantly a tool to surface and share important insights on the subject surveyed. (5 points)

Is/Are the media outlet(s) where the ranking is published of high credibility and reputation?

  • Media outlet(s) has/have limited credibility and reputation. (1 point)
  • Media outlet(s) has/have fair credibility and reputation. (3 points)
  • Media outlet(s) has/have excellent credibility and reputation. (5 points)

Comment: Fortune as media outlet is one of the most credible and reputable media worldwide.

Aggregated points: 13 (of max. 15)

Do the ranking results provide overall orientation where companies stand?

  • limited orientation only (1 point)
  • fair orientation provided (3 points)
  • very good orientation (5 points)

Comment: The criteria are too broad defined to allow for a real comparison.

Is the Ranking published in the same format on a regular basis, e.g. annually, which allows to track developments and comparisons over time?

  • ranking is published for the first time (1 point)
  • ranking is published for the second time in the same format (3 points)
  • ranking is published for more than 3 times on a regular basis in the same format (5 points)

Do the ranking results provide added value and further insights on how companies are evaluated in in their industry, e.g. detailed ratings in various sub-dimensions of the overall result?

  • limited added value only (1 point)
  • fair amount of added value (3 points)
  • high amount of added value (5 points)

Comment: Good filters allowing to compare industries, countries and areas of impact.

Aggregated points: 7 (of max. 15)

Is the ranking based on a representative survey among key stakeholders or on a jury only?

  • Ranking is based on a jury’s opinion only. (1 point)
  • Ranking is based on a small survey or only on a limited group of stakeholders. (3 points)
  • Ranking is based on a robust and representative survey. (5 points)

Comment: Ranking is based on a joint jury of „some dozen experts“, FSG, the Shared Value initiative and Fortune editors.

Is the ranking methodology easy to understand and reasonable – even for non-statisticians?

  • Methodology not easy to understand and not reasonable. (1 point)
  • Methodology fairly good to understand and reasonable. (3 points)
  • Methodology very easy to understand and reasonable. (5 points)

Comment: While the methodolgy is so simple to be easily understood it would be of high value if further explanation of the criteria and measurements would be given.

Is the ranking methodology easy to access and transparent?

  • Methodology not easy to find and not sufficiently transparent. (1 point)
  • Methodology fairly good to find and of medium transparency. (3 points)
  • Methodology very easy to find and of high transparency. (5 points)

Comment: Methodology is explained online but not explained in detail.

Aggregated points: 7 (of max. 15)

Ranking category

  • Product / Service Brands
  • Company Brands
  • Corporate Reputation and Company Esteem
  • Social Responsibility, CSR & Sustainability, Ethical Business Practices
  • Innovation & Technology
  • Employer Attractiveness & Diversity
  • Leadership
  • Nations & Destinations
  • University & Other Institutions
  • Sports
  • Lifestyle
  • Social Media
  • Personal Branding & CEOs

Ranking statistics

  • Name of Ranking: Change The World 2015
  • Ranking managed/produced by institute/organization: Fortune, FSG, Shared Value Initiative
  • Ranking published by media outlet: Fortune
  • Date of recent publication: August 28, 2015
  • Date of previous publication: -

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