The Impaakt List: 20 Companies with the most impact on the world.
With great power, comes great responsibility.
In this article, we've picked 20 of the largest companies in the world (based on the market value) and ranked them to show you how they impact key environmental factors, like Climate Stability as well as social factors, like our Well-being.
You'll see their Impact Score (which shows us how positive or negative their impact on the world is on a scale from -5 to +5) and we've broken down this score into social and environmental scores too, so you know which areas they are performing well on and which need serious attention.
This is the Impaakt List, read on to learn about 20 companies with the most impact on the planet and the people who inhabit it.
The Impaakt List: 20 Companies with the most impact on the world.
Mastercard's Impact Score is positive. The company have scored the highest on Basic Needs and Decent Work and lowest regarding Well-Being and Climate Stability.
Much of their positive impact is linked to social programs that have increased economic inclusion in developing communities and delivered job search support for individuals who found themselves unemployed due to the COVID19 pandemic.
Let the Impaakt Community know what you think about Mastercard's sustainability efforts and overall impact.
Overall, Verizon's impact on society and the environment is positive. The Impact Score breakdown tells us that most of Verizon's positive impact stems from social programs that provided students with access to technology, helping to bridge the digital divide. For those that are struggling to pay bills during the COVID19 pandemic, Verizon have included 1.5 million of its subscribers in Verizon's "Stay Connected" repayment program - 300,000 of which are non-paying.
Regarding Climate Stability, Verizon helped their customers avoid GHG emissions through innovative telecommunications services. Nonetheless, Verizon still emits millions of tons of GHG emissions every year through their business operations. Even with their customers' emission savings, Verizon are still contributing to the exacerbation of climate change.
Another concern for Verizon is the continued data breaches involving millions of customers, which have exposed names, addresses, account details, and PINs. Verizon are not doing enough to protect their customer's data in an increasingly digital world.
Not only to read more, but to go ahead and have your voice heard- be sure you read and rate Verizon's global impact here.
Microsoft outperforms many competitors on their social impact, with very positive scores on Basic Needs, Well-Being and Decent Work, but they face challenges when looking at how they impact the environment.
Their positive contributions to society are seen through their input on quality education with their digital skills initiative reaching 10 million learners. We also see positive impacts on gender equality in the workforce and using their innovations to develop tools like a health care bot to reduce pressure on hospitals during the Covid-19 pandemic.
They do make efforts to limit their environmental impact by committing to becoming water positive, but still, the total water withdrew by them in 2019 was 7.9 Mn m3, equivalent to 20.6 million people’s water use for a day. They also address product waste through their recycling scheme but fail to disclose fully their total waste generation numbers.
These efforts fail to offset Microsoft's carbon emissions which drives down their overall environmental performance.
Learn more about Microsoft and make your ratings about their impact here.
Visa's Impact Score comes out positive overall, driven by their social outcomes - Decent Work, Basic Needs, and Well-being. They fall behind when looking at environmental impact, with negative scores coming through on Resource Security and Climate Stability.
We can also see a positive impact on society through their initiatives to tackle poverty by providing vulnerable communities with access to their services. This allows individuals to improve their overall financial health.
When it comes to environmental sustainability, Visa have made some effort to improve their operational emissions but are still behind their competition. In 2020, 100% of Visa's energy usage was from renewable sources but they struggle on topics like water consumption and the impact of their 3.5 billion payments cards on plastic pollution.
UnitedHealth have a positive score but there are areas that need addressing. In recent years, their negative impact on Decent Work came through their violation of insurance laws which not only impacted employees, but hurt their subscribers' mental health and well-being.
Much of UnitedHealth's positive impact is driven by their significant and ongoing contribution to the Medicaid and Medicare programs in the US that allow millions to have access to affordable health care.
When looking at their performance on Basic Needs the positive impact of medicines they provide is one driver, we also note their initiatives to reduce infant mortality rates and their overarching support for universal health care. Unfortunately, their part in the opioid crisis has lowered their score in this area. Johnson and Johnson have also been involved in numerous corruption cases with them paying billions over the years for facilitating illegal bribes and kickback schemes.
Johnson and Johnson have not done enough to address their water usage with much of it coming from water-stressed areas and other negative environmental outcomes are seen through the impact of their products on landfills. However, the company did formalize the Global Aquatic Ingredient Assessment to monitor the impact of ingredients on marine life.
As one of the largest pharmaceutical companies on the planet, Johnson and Johnson have an opportunity to create real change, unfortunately, there are still some negating factors in play that hold them back from achieving a higher score.
Home Depot achieves a positive, albeit low score. Positive nonetheless, their areas of good performance are only seen with their impact on social factors such as Well-being and Decent Work.
Home Depot provides work for over 400,000 people, focusing on offering an inclusive environment with the employment of minority groups. However, minority groups are employed at lower levels in the company.
Home Depot has work to do to improve its environmental impact. This is especially true when we look at Healthy Ecosystems and their lack of engagement to address their impact on deforestation and forest degradation.
Some of the products Home Depot sell have led to negative Social Outcomes. In recent years, some customers were exposed to lead. Not only that, but Home Depot continue to sell carcinogenic pesticides.
Intel are doing the bare minimum to maintain an overall positive impact. While they have taken strides to limit the impact of their water footprint, which is a major area of concern for the semiconductor industry, they fall short in other areas of pressing concern.
Aside from their charitable giving, Intel have several social issues to address. They have not yet eradicated forced labor from their complex global supply chain, despite claiming to have a robust system to detect forced labor across suppliers. They also score negatively on Decent work through poor enforcement of anti-sexual harassment policies.
Regarding climate stability, Intel have a long way to go when it comes to addressing carbon emissions but they have made some positive progress after saving billions of Kw over the years. Other environmental concerns come into play with their waste generation.
Read on and rate Intel's social and environmental impact for yourself.
Procter & Gamble
Procter & Gamble's large environmental footprint is rated negatively by the Impaakt Community. Climate Stability, Healthy Ecosystems, and Resource Security are all areas of concern. However, P&G scored positively on Well-Being, Decent Work, and Basic Needs.
P&G make positive contributions to society through initiatives such as their work with the Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program, allowing them to deliver 25 billion liters of clean drinking water to families in need across the globe. They also play a pivotal role in ending period poverty.
To be a truly sustainable company, P&G should take their environmental impact more seriously.
What to know more and have your voice heard? Read and rate these analyses here.
As indicated by its Impact Score, Nestlé have a few problem areas, Climate Stability, Basic Needs, Resource Security - to name a few. Some of Nestlé's actions appear to be contradictory, and the more negative actions ultimately undermine them achieving a significant positive impact.
It is no secret that the chocolate industry is rife with child labor, and Nestlé is no exception. As one of the largest chocolate producers globally, Nestlé have taken some steps to remove child labor from their supply chain. Nonetheless, over one million children are working on cocoa farms in West Africa, which is responsible for 70% of global cocoa production.
Nestlé's business model gives them a great opportunity to deliver nutritional value to customers around the world by selling billions of food products, fortified with micronutrients. Nestlé have also encouraged millions of children to eat healthier. However, Nestlé undermines these actions by overloading food products with salt and sugar. Ultimately, this has led to obesity amongst their customers.
This only scratches the surface - Nestlé's sustainability is one of the most well documented on the Impaakt platform. Check out the company page and see it for yourself.
JP Morgan Chase
JP Morgan Chase has a negative Impact Score as rated by the Impaakt community. The majority of their negative impact is driven through environmental factors, with a large impact on Climate Stability and Healthy Ecosystems.
Tencent Holdings, the multinational tech company, perform with a marginally negative Impact Score. Their positive performing areas are Decent Work and Basic Needs with their environmental impact coming out far worse.
Tencent Holdings mobile insurance platform WeSure is used by over 25 million people, which is expanding the reach of urban healthcare information and improving access to affordable health care. Their work to fund small businesses struggling during the Covid pandemic with $282 million also facilitated economic growth and supported small businesses.
Environmental outcomes are a problem area, with their water usage, energy consumption and GHG emissions all having a large negative impact on the world. Tencent need to begin addressing their environmental impacts as a priority.
Walmart have an overall negative impact on society and the environment on almost all fronts: Social and Environmental outcomes. Positive social contributions are significantly undermined by their employees' dismal treatment, impact on local communities, and exploitive supply chains.
Walmart pays unliveable wages that are insufficient to break the poverty loop, even after working full time. This is concerning, mainly because Walmart employs 2.3 million people. Not only are wages dangerously low, but in a couple of instances, Walmart were caught barring over 200,000 employees from taking meal and rest breaks.
When it comes to Basic Needs Walmart have played a vital role in helping address food poverty by providing food to impoverished communities through their food waste program, alongside the funding they provide to non-profit 'Feeding America'.
While Walmart's store presence provides customers lower prices on household goods - this does not capture the whole picture. Walmart stores in local communities create a net loss of jobs, less revenue for the community, and fewer small businesses.
Walmart makes an effort to limit their negative impact through programs like the "Women Entrepreneurship Development Program", but it not enough to deliver an overall positive impact. Walmart should take a more holistic approach to their business so that they not only provide value to customers but to their workers and supply chains as well.
We would like to know your thoughts about Walmart, rate them here.
Balancing with an Impact Score on the negative side of our scale, Alphabet (Google), drive their score up through their social impact.
Their initiative to leverage technology infrastructures to address societal challenges has been achieved through Google.org committing $100M for social impact projects. Their impact on job creation and education is also counted positivity toward their score.
When it comes to how sustainable Alphabet is, we see less ingenuity with their impact on the climate coming through enormous GHG emissions and vast water usage. They have even been called out for selectively reporting their sustainability initiatives that do not appear to be backed up by action or impact.
Coca-Cola, as you can see by their score, impact the world negatively on several fronts.
Their poorest performance is with Climate Stability, with topics such as energy usage and their emissions dragging their score in this area down.
Further concerns are met when it comes to Healthy Ecosystems, large negative impacts on marine life lead mostly by their plastic pollution problem and deforestation. Coca-Cola has also been called out for and greenwashing on several occasions.
Our Impact Score breakdown also shows that Coca-Cola hurt Social Outcomes. It is not a secret that sugary drinks are linked to obesity. While Coca-Cola does provide sugar-free options, they still collaborate with popular kids brands at a time of mounting childhood obesity.
Through their operations, Coca-Cola has also exacerbated the water crisis in areas of already high water stress, limiting local's access to fresh water.
Read more about how sustainable Coca-Cola is here, and be sure to have your voice heard by rating the information you find.
Samsung is failing to take hold of opportunities that could create a truly positive impact on the world. Samsung have the most work to do regarding Decent Work, Resource Scarcity, Climate Stability, and Healthy Ecosystems.
Samsung drive their positive impact on society with their contribution to digital education which has reached 3.8 million students globally since 2014. Through multiple initiatives, Samsung are making education accessible to more and more communities.
As the world's largest Oil and Gas producer, it is no surprise that Saudi Aramco's environmental score is negative.
Their impact on Climate Stability is significant. In their reports, they do not disclose scope 3 emissions created when a customer burns their fuels, which account for 80% of total emissions for fossil-fuel producers. Their scope 3 emissions are estimated to be 1.6 bn tCO2e, more than 4% of global emissions.
Social media and tech company Facebook have a negative score on the Impaakt platform. The score is broken down by a positive environmental score and a very low score on social outcomes driven by their negative impact on Well-being.
From data breaches and privacy violations, to racially biased algorithms and fake news, Facebook impact many social aspects of the world. This element aside, studies have also shown that cutting back on Facebook usage can improve Well-being which means billions of their users are being negatively impacted by using the platform.
Facebook are more ambitious when it comes to addressing their impact on the environment, with initiatives to be fully dependant on renewable energy sources, as well as their efforts to reduce their water footprint.
What do you think about the Impact Score for Facebook? Read more about their sustainability efforts here.
Tech giant Apple has some work to do in improving their overall sustainability, with low scores on both environmental and social outcomes.
With multiple links to child labor and Uyghur forced labor within their supply chain, they are having a very negative impact on Decent Work. Apple must also face the fact that their products contribute to screen addiction which is bad for their users Well Being.
Other major concerns arise when digging into Apple's impact on Climate Stability. We can see that their energy consumption (with only 0.08% coming from renewable sources) has a negative impact, along with their substantial emissions caused not only by manufacturing their products but down the product lifecycle, including usage.
Looking at the score breakdown, we can see that Amazon has work to do. Both aspects of their environmental and social outcomes score negatively.
Amazon has a negative impact on resource security, making headlines after it destroyed 3.2 million unsold products as well as their model playing a pivotal role in consumerist culture. Amazon's packaging continues to be problematic with a lack of effective commitment from them to pursue waste reduction methods and recycling that actually works.
Regarding their impact on their own workforce, they score particularly poorly on Decent Work, warehouse workers report high levels of stress due to difficult targets as well as poor pay and working conditions. Continuing on the social impact of Amazon, not enough is done to monitor its own supply chain, they continue to work with suppliers involved in child labor.
There have been some positive initiatives such as the work to support female entrepreneurs and the commitment to reach 100% renewable energy by 2030 alas, neither is enough to improve their impact score significantly.
What do you think about the impact of Amazon? Read more here.
*All Impact Scores are correct at time of publishing 22.06.21
Want to know more?
As you can see, 75% of these businesses score negatively on Environmental Outcomes. Clearly, progress on this issue needs to accelerate and companies have the power to do just that. These 20 companies just scratch the surface, you can learn about the impact of hundreds of companies on the Impaakt platform. Explore Impaakt today and arm yourself with the right knowledge to make a difference.