LEGO Clinches Top Spot in Corporate Responsibility Rankings, Passes Google and Disney

The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal

LEGO Group knocked Alphabet Inc.'s Google from the top spot in an annual ranking of corporate responsibility, an increasingly important performance measure that looks at a company's treatment of workers and broader world impact as well as how it resonates with consumers.

The report, released Tuesday by data-insights company Reputation Institute, shows the Danish toymaker whizzed past Google and Walt Disney Co., last year's respective No. 1 and 2, while Brazil's Natura Cosmeticos SA and Microsoft Corp. rose to No. 2 and 3, respectively. Google took the No. 4 spot, and Disney No. 5.

Alpargatas SA's Havaianas sandals company, Intel Corp. and Italian coffee roaster Luigi Lavazza S.p.A. joined the top 10, pushing out imaging company Canon Inc. and tire maker Michelin.

Starbucks Corp., which had faced accusations of racial bias and backlash over a campaign that sought to stimulate discussions around race, made it back to the list, closing the Global CR RepTrak 100 ranking.

The rankings measure the reputation of 100 companies in 15 countries, among them the U.S., Australia, Germany, Russia, Brazil, Japan and China.

The latest rankings show consumers are paying closer attention to workplace issues, such as equal pay, and show a direct link between a company's ranking and public support. A five-point corporate-responsibility increase translated into an 8% increase in purchase intent, said Stephen Hahn-Griffiths, Reputation Institute's chief reputation officer. A five-point corporate-responsibility increase boosted trust by 6%.

"In today's world, success and being a purpose-driven organization are inextricably linked," said Kasper Nielsen, Reputation Institute's chief strategy officer.

"To put it simply," Mr. Hahn-Griffiths said, "corporate responsibility is no longer just a measure of goodwill, it's a measure of being a good business."

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