Video: black list uncovers least transparent companies

Jeremy Hance
April 14, 2010

Corporate Responsibility Magazine has released its first annual list of the 30 least transparent companies, dubbed the 'black list'. Looking at corporations traded on the US stock market in the Russell 1,000—the top 1,000 stocks in the Russell 3,000 list—the magazine pinpointed the bottom 30, exposing those companies that choose to hide in the dark.

"What gets you one the black list? Share no data beyond what is legally required," explained Jay Whitehead on a conference call. Author of the Black List article in Corporate Responsibility Magazine, Whitehead is also the President of SharedXpertise Media LLC.

"Our black list is the scarlet letter for stakeholder disrespect," Whitehead added.

The list ranges widely from clothing companies (Abercrombie and Fitch) to energy companies (Exco Resources, Inc) to real estate (HCP Inc), but what each of these companies has in common is a lack of transparency in issues including climate change, environment, philanthropy, and human rights.

The Corporate Responsibility Magazine's article on the black list, however, points out that when it comes to environmental issues the majority of Russell 1000 companies hide in the dark. Sixty-one percent of the companies in the Russell 1000 have not disclosed any information related to their greenhouse gas emissions and climate change (currently not required by law). In addition, nearly as many companies, 60 percent, disclosed no information on broader environmental issues.

Yet, according to Corporate Responsibility Magazine, disclosing information actually helps a company's bottom line: three-year returns for companies on the Black List average out to -7.378 percent, while companies on Corporate Responsibility Magazine's "100 Best List" made +2.374.

To see the 30 companies that made the Black List: The full Black List

Find more videos like this on Planet Forward

Planet Forward host, Frank Sesno, interviews Richard Crespin, the head of the Corporate Responsibility Officer's Association, about their release of the first ever CRO Blacklist. Video courtesy of Planet Forward.

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Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com (April 14, 2010).

Video: black list uncovers least transparent companies.