4 MN Cos. Among 50 “Most Community-Minded” In U.S.

3M, Ameriprise Financial, Ecolab, and UnitedHealth Group appeared on a recent Bloomberg list of 50 U.S. companies that excel in “civic engagement.”
4 MN Cos. Among 50 “Most Community-Minded” In U.S.

Four Minnesota companies made Bloomberg’s new list of the 50 “most community-minded” businesses in the United States.

Bloomberg Rankings, a research component of the larger Bloomberg business news conglomerate, partnered with the National Conference on Citizenship (a Washington, D.C.-based civic nonprofit organization) and Points of Light (an Atlanta-based volunteer service organization) to compile the list.

The team worked with corporate, nonprofit, and academic experts to design a 33-question survey that was conducted in June. The survey measured S&P 500 companies’ “civic engagement programs” based on five factors.

The factors measure company performance in “organizational commitment” (how a company uses its resources to strengthen communities), “strategic investment” (how a company uses resources from other institutions and whether it provides skills-based or pro-bono volunteer support to nonprofits), “business integration” (how a company implements community-engagement programs in the workplace), “fostering civic culture” (how a company promotes community engagement through policies, systems, and incentives), and “measuring impact” (whether and how a company measures the social and business value of its community-engagement programs).

Companies could receive a maximum of 1,000 points for each factor, and the 50 companies with the highest total scores were chosen for the list. The list consists of nine industry categories: “communications,” “consumer discretionary,” “consumer staples,” “energy and utilities,” “financials,” “health care,” “industrials,” “materials,” and “technology.”

Maplewood-based 3M Company ranked fourth out of four companies in the “materials” category. The manufacturer, which reported $29.9 billion in 2012 revenue, partners with organizations such as American Red Cross and United Way to deliver aid through its 3Mgives program. Separately, the company recently made a Fortune list of the “all-star” companies that appeared most frequently on the magazine’s ranked lists.

Minneapolis-based Ameriprise Financial, Inc., was listed among six companies in the unranked “financials” category. The company, which reported $10.2 billion in 2012 revenue and supports approximately 5,000 nonprofits nationwide, said that community values are integral to its business.

“The Civic 50 distinction is an honor and a true reflection of our commitment to helping people and enriching lives,” Brian Pietsch, head of community relations at Ameriprise, said in a statement. “Our employees and advisors have a heartfelt desire to serve others. We’ve found ways to fuse that spirit with corporate support to maximize our impact and help meet the changing needs of our communities.”

St. Paul-based Ecolab, Inc.—which develops water, hygiene, and energy technologies—ranked fifth out of five companies in the “consumer discretionary” category. The company, which reported $11.8 billion in 2012 net sales, hosts an annual “U.S. Community Giving Campaign.” The campaign raised roughly $2 million in donations for nonprofits such as United Way and Global Impact during its most recent drive, according to the company’s website.

“We believe that the economic and social vitality of our communities is critical to our long-term growth and viability,” Douglas Baker, Jr., Ecolab chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “This recognition of our civic involvement affirms our commitment to supporting local initiatives that strengthen the communities where we operate.”

Minnetonka-based health insurance provider UnitedHealth Group ranked first out of five companies within the “health care” category. The company, which reported $110.6 billion in 2012 revenue, founded the United Health Foundation and UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation to help support community and children’s health through grants.

Click here to view Bloomberg Rankings’ full list of the “most community-minded” U.S. companies.

3M, Ameriprise Financial, Ecolab, and UnitedHealth Group are all among Minnesota’s 15-largest public companies based on revenue. In addition to appearing on Bloomberg’s list, Ecolab was recently named to the Ethisphere Institute’s list of the “World’s Most Ethical Companies.”