Change the World
More businesses are taking on society's biggest problems-and making money doing so. Here's our look at 50 companies that do well by doing good.
#48. Godrej Group, India
Marketing a simple way to vanquish an insect enemy
A 119-year-old conglomerate whose businesses span from appliances to aerospace, Godrej gets nearly a quarter of its revenue from its "Good and Green" products. Since 2010, the company has flooded the market with eco-friendly products, taken giant strides in a carbon neutral, zero waste, and a renewable energy effort, and imparted skills training to more than 200,000 youth from marginalized communities in 142 cities. For Godrej, it's been a growth story: revenue from its Good and Green portfolio has grown 140% annually for the past 5 years.
But in a country where 95% of the population lives in malaria- or dengue-prone areas, its most important innovation may be its "fast card," an inexpensive mosquito-repelling device from the conglomerate's Godrej Consumer Products unit. The fast card requires no electricity-an advantage that could give it global reach.
How we chose the companies: The Change the World list recognizes companies that have had a positive social impact through activities that are part of their core business strategy. We prioritize companies with annual revenues of $1 billion or more, and we strive to present a global and well-rounded list. The process begins with a call for nominations from business, academic, and nonprofit groups. The initial solicitation and assessment of nominees is conducted in partnership with FSG, a nonprofit social-impact consulting firm, the Shared Value Initiative, a global platform for organizations seeking business solutions to social challenges, and Professor Michael E. Porter of Harvard Business School. Fortune writers and editors then evaluate and rank the companies by three factors:
1. Measureable Social Impact: We consider the reach, nature, and durability of the company's impact on one or more specific societal problems, and we work to confirm that impact through independent sources. This category receives extra weight.
2. Business Results: We consider the economic benefit the socially impactful initiative brings to the company. Profitability and contribution to shareholder value generally outweigh the indirect benefits of reputation and employee satisfaction.
3. Degree of Innovation: We consider how innovative the company's effort is relative to that of others in its industry and whether its impactful actions have prompted other companies to follow its example.