Every year, Fortune names 10 companies to a list called “Change the World.” The idea is, that besides selling goods and services and pursuing revenue and profits for its shareholders, a number of companies are undertaking business strategies that do good. Not only are they doing good, the strategies, from economic redevelopment to sustainability, are potentially altering the way business — and good — is done.
What better time than the holidays to take a look at the top three. Here they are.
Robust businesses are good for overall community health and for the profits of banks. That’s one of the reasons that banking powerhouse JPMorganChase invests $250 million yearly into investments designed to help hard-hit communities with job skills training sessions, small business development, and strategies for local revitalization.
In Detroit, for example, Fortune points out that the investments have created roughly 1,700 new jobs and 100 new small businesses. The efforts have been successful enough that the programs are going to be rolled out in other cities, with JPMorgan Chase’s backing.
While JPMorgan Chase’s program aims to improve the lot of communities inside the U.S., the #2 company on Fortune’s list targets international communities. DSM focuses on countries who are hard-hit by famine around the world.
DSM’s products focus on ending world hunger.
DSM is engaged in the food sciences sector. It has assisted the World Food Programme in developing products to fortify nutrition. These products are distributed to roughly 31 million people annually.
While fortified nutrition certainly helps world hunger, the company also looks to partnering to end hunger in the future. It has undertaken a joint partnership with the government in Rwanda, for example, to make food processing within the country most robust. The partnership, African Improved Foods, has established a plant in the city of Kigali that manufactures fortified cereal from soybeans and maize grown locally.
Both the plant’s employees and its crops are run locally as well.
Fortune believes that the technology news of Apple is a force for global good. Why? Multiple factors. Apple’s plants worldwide use renewable energy. Apple’s chief executive officer points out that the billions of products and apps run on Apple devices, as well as the devices themselves, create U.S. jobs alone to the tune of $2 million. Apps and devices have significant potential in medical research, doing everything from monitoring heart beats to issuing medical reminders to patients.
Pharmaceutical company Novartis made the list for two reasons. First, it won U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for its Kymriah cancer drug. Kymriah works with immune cells to transform them into killers of blood cancer. This highly innovative drug will be the first in its class, and shows the possibilities of using the body’s own disease-fighting agents to combat disease.
But developed world drugs are just one of the things Novartis does well. In developing countries, the Switzerland-based Novartis prices its chronic illness medications at $1 each treatment for governments and customers in the public sector. It also offers screenings and education in countries such as Kenya, India, and Vietnam.
Companies across the spectrum would do well to pay attention to the strategies and programs that are helping customers, communities, and products to do better.