DreamWorks, Nasdaq ‘Black Listed’ for Lack of Transparency

by | Jul 13, 2011

DreamWorks, NASDAQ and Madison Square Garden are among the well-known American brands that have appeared on a “black list” of companies with poor transparency and corporate citizenship.

The Black List, by Corporate Responsibility magazine, comprises 58 Russell 1000 companies that tie for bottom ranking on these measures.

The Financials industry was most represented, accounting for 32 of the list’s members, or more than half. Next most common was the Energy sector at 12 percent of the total, followed by Consumer Items and Health Care, at 10 percent each.

All entrants on the list have publicly declared zero points of relevant data that could be found to compare their transparency and corporate citizenship against the rest of the Russell 1000, the magazine said.

The list’s methodology collects data in seven categories:
• Climate change;
• Employee relations;
• Environment;
• Financial;
• Governance;
• Human rights; and
• Philanthropy.

Corporate Responsibility magazine publishes a list of the Top 100 companies in terms of corporate citizenship and transparency in the first quarter of every year. Johnson Controls, Campbell Soup, IBM, Bristol-Meyers Squibb and Mattel were the top five companies in the 2011 “100 Best Corporate Citizens List.”

“We track hundreds of data points of transparency for the Best list, but the companies tied for least transparent disclose exactly zero items. That displays an astonishing disregard for their stakeholders,” said Dirk Olin, editor of Corporate Responsibility magazine.

“The Black List sets a pretty low bar,” agreed Richard Crespin, executive director of the CR Officers Association and chairman of the CR Magazine Methodology Committee. “Just disclose one data element out of nearly 300 and you’re off. That’s why it’s so shocking that these firms remain so opaque to their stakeholders.”

Both the Black List and 100 Best List are selected from among the large-cap Russell 1000 companies. The 100 Best List’s methodology is governed by the 100 Best Corporate Citizens List Methodology Committee of the Corporate Responsibility Officers Association. The publicly-available data for both the 100 Best and Black List comes from environment, social and governance investment data provider IW Financial.

The Black List can be viewed here.

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