51 companies that are changing the world.

See our methodology and credits



For Fortune’s first “Change the World” list, we’ve found 51 companies that have made a sizable impact on major global social or environmental problems as part of their competitive strategy. This list is not meant to be a ranking of the overall “goodness” of companies or of their “social responsibility.” Big corporations are complex operations that affect the world in myriad ways. The goal here is simply to shine a spotlight on instances where companies are doing good as part of their profit-making strategy, and to shed new light on the power of capitalism to improve the human condition.

To assemble our list, the editors of Fortune and FSG, a nonprofit social-impact consulting firm, reached out to dozens of business, academic, and nonprofit experts around the world, asking for their recommendations. Fortune and a joint team from FSG and the Shared Value Initiative then vetted more than 200 nominees. In our evaluation, we considered four criteria: the degree of business innovation involved, the measurable impact at scale on an important social challenge, the contribution of the shared-value activities to the company’s profitability and competitive advantage, and the significance of the shared value effort to the overall business. A team of journalists from Fortune then further vetted each of the nominees and reported on their impact. The final list of 51 was selected and ranked by the editors of Fortune based on the magazine’s own reporting and by the analysis provided.


By Erika Fry with additional reporting by Scott Cendrowski, Jonathan Chew, Ryan Daly, Brian Dumaine, Nina Easton, Claire Groden, Matt Heimer, Kia Kokalitcheva, Beth Kowitt, Michal Lev-Ram, Laura Lorenzetti, Brian O’Keefe, Scott Olster, Anne Vandermey, Phil Wahba, Vivienne Walt, Jen Wieczner, and Claire Zillman.

Nike, Cisco, MasterCard, SABMiller, Vodafone, Google—and 45 other companies that are doing well by doing good.

See our methodology and credits


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An image of a fetus sits on the screen of a Philips VISIQ portable ultrasound system as it stands on display during the company's innovation day at the Evoluon Center in Eindhoven, Netherlands.
Jasper Juinen—Getty Images

Philips has spent years extolling LED lighting, which is long lasting and consumes far less energy than other lighting. But over the past year the company has been building solar-powered LED complexes throughout Africa—transforming 87 underused health clinics and giving kids the ability to read and play after dark. The initial outlay for the project is donated. But there’s an upside for Philips in the lighting project, which has given it a foothold in numerous new markets and boosted orders for its tablet-size ultrasound machine, Visiq—a lifesaving device for doctors in remote villages.

Philips also appeared on these lists:

Company Info

Sector Industrials
Industry Electronics
Country Netherlands
Revenues ($ millions) 30876
Company type Public
CEO Frans A. van Houten
Impact Segment Public Health/Nutrition

Fortune Rankings

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Fortune's Take On Philips
  • Philips CEO Eyes an Even Bigger Sustainability Goal
    Frans van Houten says the objective is "entirely reconcilable with the interests of shareholders."
  • Siemens Spinoff Osram Just Bought This U.S. Industrial Light Startup
    Digital Lumens focused on industrial lighting systems.
  • Why Fortune 500 Companies Are Creating Indiegogo Campaigns
    Google, Philips GE, and more have utilized the crowdfunding site.
  • Philips to Buy U.S. Medical Device Maker Spectranetics for $2.2 Billion
    As it expands its image-guided therapy business.
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