The best of the best in Responsible Performance or what…

The Corporate Responsibility top 100 list have just been issued ranking companies for 2011, according to their performance within a wide range of indicators ranging from Environmental, Employee Relations, to financial and governance issues.

The top five are:
1. Johnsons Controls inc. (Engineering)
2. Campbell Soup Co. (Food)
3. International Business Machines Corp. (Tech.)
4 Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (Pharmaceutical)
5 Mattel, Inc. (Toys)

What puzzles me is that Mattel made it so far up the list considering their track record within a wide range of CSR related issues.

Mattel offers its products under various brands, including well-known ones like Barbie, Polly Pocket, Hot Wheels, Matchbox, Fisher-Price, Sesame Street, Dora the Explorer, Winnie the Pooh and Power Wheels. The company also publishes activity books and magazines and sells its products to many different types of retailers, from freestanding toy stores to department stores. It also markets products on the Internet, including its own website.

Most of its production is conducted in Asia and Latin America, where there have been a long record of different forms of violation in the areas of Labour Rights, Human Rights and other ethical concerns. I have compiled a list of some of the cases that they have had for the last decade or so. For example is Mattel according to the CR list number 10 within Human and 46 within Employee relations but I guess that the Mattel supply chain is not taken into consideration when the evaluated the company performance. Judge for your self…

Health and Safety

Mattel agreed to a $12 million settlement for safety hazards posed by the 2 million recalled toys between August and October of 20…
— GreenBiz, 12/16/2008
In August 2007, Mattel recalled 9 million of its toys due to hazards such as magnets that can become unattached and swallowed by …
— CNN, 08/14/2007
The Consumer Product Safety Committee listed Mattel’s Batman Batmobile toy vehicle as one of its 10 Hazardous Recalled Toys for 20…
— PR Newswire, 11/22/2004
According to Public Interest Research Group’s 2003 Survey of Company Policies on Phthalates, Hasbro “did not respond to requests f…
— Public Interest Research Group, 01/01/2003
In June 2001, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) fined Mattel’s Fisher-Price division $1.1 million for failing to repor…
— New York Times, 06/07/2001
In February 2001, it was revealed that as many as 13,000 workers from Mattel’s former View-Master division in Beaverton Oregon mig…
— Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 02/21/2001

Human Rights
New York City Comptroller William Thompson Jr. filed shareholder resolutions with 11 corporations urging greater efforts to end human rights abuses by overseas suppliers..
— Crain’s NY Business, 02/08/2006
The Lungcheong Toy Factory in Dongguan, China employs 3,000 workers and supplies battery-operated toy cars and trucks to Mattel an…
— National Labor Committee, 12/01/2005
Mattel’s operations in China made it one of the targets of the National Labor Committee’s “Toys of Misery” report which demands th…
— National Labor Committee, 01/01/2002

Ethics and Governance
According to SEC filings, Mattel CEO, Robert A. Eckert, was paid $5,994,559 in total compensation for 2006.…
— AFL-CIO, 02/17/2007
Mattel received a score of 88 out of 100 on the 2006 Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index.…
— Human Rights Campaign, 09/19/2006
In June 2002, when unionized west coast dock workers began striking for preservation of their healthcare benefits, increase in th…
— CorpWatch, 01/02/2003
We urge you and the Mattel company to immediately address and correct violations of illegal scheduling…
–China Labor Watch, 29/10/2009
This week Mattel recalled nearly two million Chinese-made toys over concerns they contain excessive levels of lead paint and loose parts…
–London Evening standard, 15/08/2007
Dozens of people were injured when more than 1,000 workers rioted in protest of the poor working conditions at the Merton factory …
— China Labor Watch, 07/27/2006
A 2005 report by China Labor Watch titled, “The Toy Industry in China: Undermining Workers’ Rights and Rule of Law,” highlights th…
— China Labor Watch, 09/01/2005
A Rubies factory in Tepeji del Rio, Mexico is being investigated for violating child labor laws at its garment facility which prod…
— Financial Times, 05/22/2005

2 thoughts on “The best of the best in Responsible Performance or what…

  1. Interesting comments! And of course, the very top names are all big companies. I wonder what it takes for a small company to get into the top 20!?

    • SME’s have had hard time on list like these as they are primarily based on companies which have a certain market CAP or above. In this case is the included companies listed on the Russel 1000 list. This does not tell much, but the Russell 1000 Index measures the performance of the large-cap companies in the US and there for it is virtually impossible for SME’s to get on the list.

      Basically this means that the list is an “old boys club” where innovation and entrepreneurship within the field of CSR is not likely to happen or be seen.

      For one I would welcome a list for up and coming innovative companies within the field of Social entrepreneurship or based on a broader understanding of business ethics. There are plenty of initiatives and small start-ups, but what I really would like to know is which of these up and coming organisations also have a sustainable business idea that others can learn from.

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