RATING AMERICA'S CORPORATE CONSCIENCE: A Provocative Guide to the Companies Behind the Products You Buy Every Day by Steven D. & Others Lydenberg

RATING AMERICA'S CORPORATE CONSCIENCE: A Provocative Guide to the Companies Behind the Products You Buy Every Day

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

The Council on Economic Priorities has produced a non-traditional guide that offers judgments on the so-called social performance of 130 major suppliers of consumer goods and services, from Abbot Laboratories through Zenith Electronics. The pro bono research organization presents its findings in two ways: categorical product charts that feature exhaustive brand-name listings with ratings on key CEP concerns, and corporate profiles which provide more detailed observations on individual companies. Benchmark issues include charitable contributions, representation of women and members of minority groups in top management, disclosure policies, presence in South Africa, and involvement in defense or nuclear weapons work. The product charts give mainly high/middle/low readings on supplier companies, using data from on-the-record sources or questionnaires. By way of example, organizations that allocate one percent or more of their pretax earnings to worthy causes grade out above average. In like vein, companies with less than $10 million worth of Pentagon bookings are not deemed ""substantial arms contractors."" For South African operations, the CEP relies on rankings developed for signatories of the Sullivan Principles. The corporate profiles deliver wide-ranging commentary on such collateral matters as labor relations, environmental controversies, product recalls, and socioeconomic initiatives that strike the CEP as creative or courageous. Each briefing has a tabular summary similar to the product charts, plus data on political action committee contributions to candidates for Federal office. The CEP's directory can be criticized as limited, subjective, and arbitrary. It's also the only wheel in town and, hence, a unique reference for activist consumers or investors seeking counsel on ""shopping for a better world.

Pub Date: Jan. 20th, 1986
Publisher: Addison-Wesley