Fortune has released their eighth annual “Change The World” list, recognizing companies that are using innovative business strategies to positively impact the world. Along with larger powerhouses, the list also includes a number of startups and smaller companies.
Fortune started the list in 2015 with two main ideas in mind. The first was that the “creative tools” of capitalism made businesses uniquely suited to solve social problems, while the second was that bigger businesses would be the best at those tasks. The latter notion has shifted.
“On our inaugural list, six of the 51 companies we recognized had annual revenue of $1 billion or less,” Matt Heimer, executive features editor, wrote when introducing the list. “This year, in our eighth edition, 18 out of 54 have less than $1 billion in revenue, and nine of those are currently venture-backed startups,” he said.
According to the report, Fortune’s methodology for selecting the companies is based on three factors:
- Measurable social impact: They consider the reach, nature, and durability of the company’s impact on one or more specific societal problems.
- Business results: They consider the benefit the socially impactful work brings to the company. Profitability and contribution to shareholder value outweigh benefits to the company’s reputation.
- Degree of innovation: They consider how innovative the company’s effort is relative to that of others in its industry and whether other companies have followed its example or partnered with it.
This year’s list includes 31 companies in North America, 12 in Europe, eight in Asia, two in Africa, and one from South America.
The list is not ranked, but the first ten entries are:
- Alibaba, JD.com, & Meituan
- AIA Group
- Shubham Housing Development Finance
PayPal came in a leader for the company’s work in supporting efforts to aid the Ukraine. The Fortune editors also wrote, “Through late September, its customers raised more than $600 million through PayPal Giving for relief efforts in Ukraine. It has also helped Ukrainian citizens receive and send another $330 million in person-to-person payments and money transfers. And PayPal has tallied almost 300,000 new Ukrainian account sign-ups since the war began. Someday those may become paying customers, but that’s a question for a more peaceful day: PayPal is waiving all money transfer and remittance fees through Dec. 31.”
Several types of businesses that made the list have made efforts to keep positive social impact at the core of their business strategy, showing that positive change is possible no matter how big or profitable a company is.