Government contractors aren't always the best corporate citizens. That shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who has witnessed the public meltdowns of energy companies, defense contractors, and financial institutions. But, as in any sector, some companies are more ethical than others. Corporate Responsibility Magazine recently took on the challenging task of rating all the companies that garnered the government's $535 billion dollars' worth of outside contracts in 2009.
The Best Corporate Citizens in Government Contracting List uses the same methodology of CR Magazine’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens List—the 100 largest government contractors are ranked based on 324 data points of information in seven categories Environment, Climate Change, Human Rights, Philanthropy, Employee Relations, Financial Performance, and Governance.
Unsurprisingly, oft-maligned (and well-known) contractors like Blackwater and BP didn't make the list of CR Magazine's top 36 companies. A number of defense contractors made the list, however, including Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman. Energy contractors are few, while health and technology companies score high marks—HP, IBM, and Merck take the top three spots.
And while it sometimes seems that tainted companies like Blackwater (now known as Xe Services) get more than their fair share of government loot, most of the top scorers on CR Magazine's list are also the biggest government contractors. It just goes to show that corporate social responsibility does pay off ... at least when government dollars are being spent.