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Fortune Launches Inaugural 'Change the World' List of Companies Doing Well by Doing Good

Today, Fortune published its inaugural “Change the World” list of the top companies that are innovating business solutions to address complex social and environmental challenges. This list, developed with input from FSG and the Shared Value Initiative, illustrates a shift in business-as-usual among large corporations: For the first time companies are recognized for, and competitively ranked on, innovative strategies that positively impact the world. The list appears in Fortune’s September 2015 issue and is now available online at fortune.com/change-the-world/.

  • GSK (#6 - UK), which has trained health workers and delivered medicines to millions of people in more than 30 of the least developed countries in the world
  • Waste Management (#46 - USA), which is turning waste into energy, thereby developing viable new markets of sustainable production and consumption patterns
  • Cemex (#16 - Mexico), which has helped more than half a million families throughout Latin America become first-time home owners and builders

Sustainable Brands member companies represented include Cisco (#8), Unilever (#28), CVS Health (#31), Philips (#34) and Ford (#42).

Fortune says this list is not meant to be an ethical compass or a ranking of companies’ social responsibility. It is a ranking of companies that have made significant progress in addressing a major global social or environmental problem as part of their core business strategy. Each demonstrates that “business in pursuit of profit still offers the best hope of addressing many of mankind’s most deeply rooted problems.”

Fortune invited FSG’s co-founders, Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter and FSG Managing Director Mark Kramer, to help collect and vet nominations for the list. In reviewing nominations, a team from FSG and the Shared Value Initiative applied the concept of shared value, first defined by Porter and Kramer in the 2011 Harvard Business Review article, “Creating Shared Value.” In addition to participating in the research process, Porter and Kramer have also contributed an introductory essay that accompanies the Change the World list.

“This first Change the World list is only a start. More companies already changing the world will be recognized in future years, and we hope that many more will be inspired,” Porter and Kramer write in their essay. “Every company, large or small, should strive to be on this list. Business can — and must — compete to change the world for the better.”

Fortune editor Alan Murray commended FSG for its support: “We are particularly indebted to FSG, a nonprofit think tank led by Mark Kramer and guided by Harvard Professor Michael Porter,” he writes in his editor’s note. “They have been pioneers in this effort, and we are lucky to have their assistance.”

The editors of Fortune are ultimately responsible for the final list of companies and ranking.

In conjunction with the Change the World list, the Shared Value Initiative will launch a content platform at sharedvalue.org/fortune for readers to learn more about shared value. FSG and the Shared Value Initiative are asking companies to share their stories of how creating shared value has helped them achieve impact and results

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