Skip to Content

Methodology for Change the World


How we chose the companies: The Change the World list recognizes companies that have had a positive social impact through activities that are part of their core business strategy. We prioritize companies with annual revenues of $1 billion or more, and we strive to present a global and well-rounded list. The process begins with a call for nominations from business, academic, and nonprofit groups. The initial solicitation and assessment of nominees is conducted in partnership with FSG, a nonprofit social-impact consulting firm, the Shared Value Initiative, a global platform for organizations seeking business solutions to social challenges, and Professor Michael E. Porter of Harvard Business School. Fortune writers and editors then evaluate and rank the companies by three factors:

1- Measureable Social Impact: We consider the reach, nature, and durability of the company’s impact on one or more specific societal problems, and we work to confirm that impact through independent sources. This category receives extra weight.

2- Business Results: We consider the economic benefit the socially impactful initiative brings to the company. Profitability and contribution to shareholder value generally outweigh the indirect benefits of reputation and employee satisfaction.

3- Degree of Innovation: We consider how innovative the company’s effort is relative to that of others in its industry and whether its impactful actions have prompted other companies to follow its example.


Erika Fry (Head Writer), Clifton Leaf (Introduction)

Contributors: Rupali Arora, Christina Austin, Scott Cendrowski, Jonathan Chew, Ryan Derousseau, Peter Elkind, Katie Fehrenbacher, Matt Heimer, John Kell, Beth Kowitt, Michal Lev-Ram, Sy Mukherjee, Brian O’Keefe, Leena Rao, Jasper Scherer, Audrey Shi, Nicholas Varchaver, Jen Wieczner, Valentina Zarya, Claire Zillman