Most companies exist to deliver the best products or services to their customers and earn a profit in the process. But many businesses around the world have realized their responsibility towards the environment, public health, and the broader society. Fortune magazine‘s 2019 Change the World list has ranked 52 companies changing the world through their profit-making activity. Here we take a look at the top ten of them, and what they are doing to change the world.
Each of the 52 companies listed by Fortune has found the business case for doing good. The magazine worked with Shared Value Initiative and non-profit social impact consulting firm FSG to rank the companies. The annual Change the World list recognizes businesses that have made “a positive social impact through activities that are part of their core business strategy,” writes Fortune.
The businesses are ranked based on their social impact, business results, degree of innovation, and how integral the initiative is to the company’s core business strategy. Fortune doesn’t score companies based on their charitable generosity. These are the top 10 companies changing the world through their profit-making activities.
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New Jersey-based TerraCycle has launched the Loop platform with “the milkman model” to offer zero-waste packaging. It delivers goods to consumers’ homes in reusable and durable containers to help reduce the planet’s plastic pollution. It distributes, cleans, and refills the containers. TerraCycle has partnered with giants like Nestle, Unilever, Häagen-Dazs, and many others.
9- Schneider Electric
The French engineering giant is one of the many companies that have embraced the “circular economy.” It makes automation and energy management equipment that are easily recyclable, which helps reduce waste. Schneider Electric makes reusable circuitry that you can return to the company at the end of its life-cycle to be remade.
8- Bank of America
The US banking giant has figured out how to solve the housing puzzle. Due to the rising costs of land acquisition and construction, real estate developers and landlords charge sky-high rents that the poor and middle-class people can’t afford. Bank of America works with non-profits, takes advantage of the tax system, and lends money at “below cost.” Since 2005, it has financed more than 194,000 units of affordable housing, according to Fortune.
Centene has been helping the disabled get access to healthcare. The disabled face a lot of barriers in everyday life such as heavy doors and offices that are not properly equipped to their needs. Centene through its Provider Accessibility Initiative provides grants to remove barriers so that the disabled can easily access healthcare.
6- Santander Brasil
The Brazilian banking group has been providing low-interest, small loans to the poor and middle-class entrepreneurs in poverty-stricken areas through its Prospera program for almost two decades. Santander Brasil has started using digital technology to speed up the approval process, bringing it down to under a minute. Santander Brasil has disbursed an estimated $2 billion in loans to more than 700,000 entrepreneurs.
The world’s largest retailer deserves to be among the top companies changing the world. It has been on Fortune’s Change the World list every year since the magazine started publishing it. Walmart has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on the higher education of its employees. Thanks to its Live Better U initiative, roughly 6,000 Walmart employees are pursuing college debt-free.
4- TE Connectivity
The Swiss electronics juggernaut has developed a technology that helps cardiac patients. Its technology has been used to save the lives of 1.3 million stroke patients. Doctors use its micro-catheters and guide wires to thread a device in a specific part of the patient’s brain to stop bleeding or bust up a clot.
The Chinese electric vehicle maker is changing the world by speeding up the shift to electric vehicles to reduce pollution. Tesla is a household name in the US, but most people can’t afford Tesla vehicles. BYD makes electric cars and buses with starting prices as low as $8,500. It also exports electric vehicles to many Asian countries, and is expanding its footprint worldwide.
Mastercard is bringing more consumers to the digital economy, mainly in developing countries such as India. It has set up a Chamber of Commerce in India through its Center for Inclusive Growth to reach out to rural female entrepreneurs. It gives them access to training, credit, marketing, and other resources. Mastercard aims to reach 500 million people who lacked access to financial services by 2020.
The world’s largest smartphone chipmaker has been at the forefront of 5G revolution. The company is currently making 5G modems for smartphones. But, according to Fortune, Qualcomm will soon launch low-cost, energy-efficient 5G modems that will have “a profound impact on the planet.” Cities will be able to use its modems to monitor air and water quality in real-time, self-driving cars will be able to communicate with one another to avoid traffic jams and accidents, and farmers will be able to avoid overwatering or overfertilizing crops.