The annual 100 Best Corporate Citizens ranking was released earlier this month, with four apparel companies making the list.
The annual ranking by 3BL, a media and communications company, gathers data from the 1,000 largest publicly traded companies in the U.S. based on the Russell 1000 index, and rates them on the transparency of their environmental, social and governance disclosures.
The companies were ranked based on 184 factors across seven pillars: climate change, employee relations, environment, governance, human rights, stakeholders and society and ESG performance.
Gap and Target also made the list but were categorized as retail companies and not strictly apparel, at 90th and 25th, respectively. Estée Lauder Companies, which owns Tom Ford, also made the list at 5th, as a household and personal care products company.
The data for the 2023 ranking was gathered from July 2022 to July 2023. The span of the companies studied crosses 25 industries, and 23 of which were represented on this year’s list.
More apparel companies made the list this year than last. PVH Corp. and Ralph Lauren were added this year, though PVH Corp. had previously made the list in 2021. PVH ranked 52nd this year, and Ralph Lauren ranked 86th.
Meanwhile, toy and games company Hasbro ranked the highest among brands in the consumer durables and apparel category and fourth overall.
Nike ranked 26th overall and second within the consumer durables and apparel industry, which represents a jump from its 39th place ranking last year. VF Corp. ranked third in the industry and 46th overall, which marks a drop from last year, when it ranked 14th overall and was the first of the three companies in the consumer durables and apparel category.
Several of these companies have made efforts this year to boost their sustainability practices. In May, PVH Corp. launched a program which allows its suppliers to finance day-to-day operations through a facility benchmarked to the company’s metrics on environmental and social goals, and suppliers that meet certain standards were eligible for discounted financing. Those metrics are based on PVH’s environmental goals as well as metrics related to health and safety standards, as well as additional oversight related to forced labor, child labor and harassment and abuse at their manufacturing sites.
Also this year, Ralph Lauren pledged to reach net zero emissions by 2040 and announced a long-term strategy to use 100% recyclable, reusable or sustainably-sourced packaging and sustainably sourced key materials by 2025.
3BL, which was founded in 2009, conducts analysis of company communication strategies around ESG programs. It has managed the ranking since 2018, but the 100 Best Corporate Citizens report debuted in 1999 by Business Ethics Magazine.
“Achieving the transformational targets in the Paris Agreement and UN Sustainable Development Goals in this decisive decade requires all companies to truly embed ESG issues into the core of their business,” Dave Armon, CEO of 3BL, said in a press release. “The 100 Best Corporate Citizens of 2023 are answering the call by demonstrating the societal and bottom-line value of leadership and transparency around ESG topics. They are setting ambitious goals, outlining robust strategies for achieving them, disclosing data to measure progress, and accounting for all stakeholders in business decisions.”