There are some applications that measure the corporate social responsibility of companies. Some websites crowdsource opinions and facts on companies, while other sites use their own set of metrics to estimate social good.
With additional input from Martin Smith, founder of JustMeans and StartingBloc, we show you below the tools that stand out among the rest, along with two issue-specific resources that can assist you with purchasing decisions.
This tool created a rating system in 2009 to measure the social and environmental impact of small to medium-sized companies. B Corp helps investors and consumers tell the difference between socially responsible companies and companies with great marketing. Certified B Corporations maintain an in-depth legal structure that expands corporate accountability so they are required to make decisions that are good for society, not just their shareholders, according to the non-profit’s website. There are over 450 Certified B Corporations across 60 different industries from food to clothing to law, and you can access their data online.
JustMeans Insights helps investors, the media, practitioners and consumers measure a company’s CSR, environmental impact and sustainability performance against its competitors. This toll provides the data visualization tools to compare these companies. They study the number of standards including the Global Reporting Initiative, dig through thousands of historical reports, and then pull all of that into a data visualization tool normalized to financials, employees, etc. The result is that anyone can then compare companies across industries, sectors, geographies along the same normalized metrics.
The Good Guide helps consumers choose individual products by rating their environmental impact, health and social responsibility on a scale of 1 to 10. A team of specialists in life cycle assessment, environmental engineering, chemistry, nutrition and sociology created the ratings system, which now has more than 120,000 products listed. You can access the guide online, through the mobile app or you can take the toolbar with you as you shop on the web. The Good Guide is listed as a “For Benefit” company and is B Corp certified.
Crocodyl takes the opposite approach from JustMeans and crowdsources their information on the impact of corporations. Through their wiki-based website, Crocodyl analyzes a company’s stance on public policy, health, sustainability, human rights, social justice, labor, and issues relating to corporate responsibility. This enables NGOs, journalists, activists, whistleblowers and academics from around the world to pool their knowledge about specific corporations into one place, share publicly and then take action to hold businesses accountable.
In addition to these applications, here are two issue-specific tools that can help you make purchasing decisions.
Eat Well Guide: the Eat Well Guide is an online directory of fresh, local, and sustainable food in the U.S. and Canada including farmers’ markets, restaurants, grocery stores, family farms and more.
Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch: the MBAq sustainable seafood guide lists the most ocean-friendly seafood options by assessing fish populations in conjunction with fishing and fish-farming methods. You can use their online search tool, downloadable pocket guides, or mobile apps.