The Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship, part of the college’s Carroll School of Management, has released the 2010 Corporate Social Responsibility Index (CSRI). For the third time in three years, a new company takes the number one spot. This year, Johnson & Johnson bested last year’s number one Disney to take the top spot on the 2010 CSRI.

The report evaluates the public perception of a company in three areas: citizenship, governance and workplace. This data is not self-reported by the businesses but instead the team behind the CSRI gather data from thousands of different sources.

Companies that score above 75 are considered to have an excellent CSR reputation and are in the top tier. Johnson & Johnson earned an 82.67, this is up over six points from its 2009 ranking. The Walt Disney Company also improved over last year to 81.33 points this year; unfortunately it didn’t improve enough to earn the top spot for a second year.

Overall six companies scored higher than last year’s first place score of 79.52. In addition to Johnson & Johnson and The Walt Disney Company, other 80+ point companies include Kraft Foods Inc. (80.56), Microsoft (80.18), PepsiCo (80.15) and Apple (80.11).

The scores definitely trended higher across the board this year. In order to make it on the 2010 CSRI top 50 list, a company needed to rate at or above 72.52 points, this is a three-point increase over 2009’s threshold.

While many of the companies on this year’s list were included in last year’s index, there were also some first timers including SC Johnson in the number eight spot, Clorox in the number 23 spot, Avon Products at number 28 and Southern Company at number 43.

In addition to ranking companies in their CSR efforts, the team also examined the rankings based on industry. The beverage industry had the best perception with an overall CSRI score of 74.30 followed closely by the consumer products industry with a 73.25 score.

On the opposite end of the perception spectrum we find energy with a 56.97 score and financial-diversified with a 58.56 score. All three financial industries, diversified, banking and insurance, scored in the bottom four on the perception index.

The year over year growth of companies on the 2010 CSRI as well as the inclusion of new companies may point to a trend towards public-facing CSR efforts. If this is indeed a trend we may see another increase in the minimum number of points needed to make the 2011 CSRI top 50.

Here's the complete lits of the 2010 CSRI 50

  1. UPS
  2. 3M
Johnson & Johnson tops the 2010 CSR Index
Johnson & Johnson bested Disney to take the top spot on the 2010 Corporate Social Responsibility Index.