Here is a short description of each of the special issues in our site. By setting your opinion on these issues, you can change and control the ratings on the site. We are always interested in suggestions for additional special issues. We are most interested in areas of interest to a large number of people and that have been well documented with publicly-available sources. However, we will also accept lists of companies from smaller organizations, who want to put them on our site as part of their advocacy work. Please contact us if you are interested in entering your own special issue list.
Companies on this list have a policy of testing the safety of their products on animals. Some may consider this a positive way to ensure that products do not harm humans. Some may consider this a negative, as it causes death an in some cases suffering, for animals. Sources used: American Anti-Vivisection Society, Better World Companies, Caring Consumer, Ideal Ratings, Institutional Shareholder Services, ISS ESG (IW Financial Data Set), Understanding Animal Research.
The companies on this list are involved in Burma, either through subsidiaries located in the country or through trade or other commercial arrangements with it. Some consider interaction with Burma to be negative, as it may support the Burmese regime. Others may consider interaction with Burma as positive, as it may increase interaction with Burmese society and improve the welfare of its people. Sources used: Burma Campaign, Global Union, Ideal Ratings.
Companies on this list are involved in the coal industry either via coal mining, production of coal mining-related equipment, coal-based power production, or engineering services. Sources used: American Coal Council Member Companies, Institutional Shareholder Services, U.S. Energy Information Administration Coal Producers, Van Eck Global Coal, World Coal Association Members.
Companies on this list drill for natural gas in shale formations (called “shale plays”) using high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” (sometimes spelled without the k). This drilling technique is controversial, due to the lack of scientific understanding of the environmental risks (such as water contamination) and human health risks related to the emissions released from the drilling process. These are Oil and Gas Extraction companies, otherwise called the "Exploration & Production" (E&P) business. However, this list also includes companies that provide services related to Exploration & Production in the shale plays, such as gathering, processing transporting and storing natural gas. Sources used: FracFocus.ca, Fracking-Disclosing the Facts, FracTracker, Institutional Shareholder Services, Marcellus Money, Marcellus Shale, Ohio Government Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Pennsylvania DOEP.
The companies on this list are involved in Iran, either through subsidiaries located in the country or through trade or other commercial arrangements with it. Sources used: California Iran Contracting Act, Ideal Ratings, Protecting Florida’s Investments Act (PFIA), United Against Nuclear Iran.
Employee membership in labor unions is encouraged and the approach to collective bargaining is fair and open. Sources used: Better World Companies, Ideal Ratings, Institutional Shareholder Services, ISS ESG (IW Financial Data Set), MSCI ESG Controversies, Vigeo.
A supplier to an armed service or other agency or department that supports the military. Sources used: Ideal Ratings, Institutional Shareholder Services, ISS ESG (IW Financial Data Set), SIPRI--Stockhold International Peace Research Institute, Top 100 Military Friendly Employers 2017, Top 100 Military Friendly Employers 2018.
These companies are involved either in generating nuclear power or in creating equipment or providing services to companies who generate nuclear power. Sources used: EIA Nuclear List, Ideal Ratings, Institutional Shareholder Services, ISS ESG (IW Financial Data Set).
The company supports working mothers through its policies on family leave, day care, health care, job sharing, etc. Sources used: CDP Supply Chain Report, ISS ESG (IW Financial Data Set), NAFE Top 70-2018, NAFE Top 70-2019, NAFE Top 70-2020, Vigeo, Working Mother List 2017, Working Mother List 2018, Working Mother List 2019, Working Multicultural Women 2018.