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10 Most Responsible Retailers of 2023

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Today’s retailers are making significant investments in corporate responsibility as ESG (environmental, social, and corporate governance) increases in popularity.

Newsweek recently partnered with research and data firm Statista for its fourth annual list of America’s Most Responsible Companies

Leading the pack in what RIS considers to be retail brands was Lowe’s, followed by Kroger and Sherwin Williams. Retailers have been transforming their cultures, embracing everything from green practices like sustainability-focused distribution to resale communities that reduce waste and make processes more efficient. Additionally, major retailers are tackling inclusivity, building in programs that make the shopping experience more accessible for everyone.

Here are the top 10 retailers who made the list:

1. Lowe’s Companies

  • Overall Score: 82.40
  • Environmental Concern Score: 91.30
  • Social Concern Score: 75.90
  • Corporate Governance Concern Score: 80.10

In the news: In September, the company announced it is optimizing its operations by allowing store associates to interact with its store’s digital data through a digital twin: a completely virtual replica of the physical home improvement store. Read more.

2. Kroger

  • Overall Score: 81.30
  • Environmental Concern Score: 88.20
  • Social Concern Score: 71.80
  • Corporate Governance Concern Score: 84.20

In the news: The brand has launched several initiatives focusing on data to increase targeted personalization, get products to consumers faster (without sacrificing freshness), and grow its retail media business with improved insights. Read more. 

3. Sherwin-Williams

  • Overall Score: 80.50
  • Environmental Concern Score: 88.00
  • Social Concern Score: 70.10
  • Corporate Governance Concern Score: 83.50

4. Apple

  • Overall Score: 80.20
  • Environmental Concern Score: 91.40
  • Social Concern Score: 63.00
  • Corporate Governance Concern Score: 86.50

In the news:Target has expanded its collaboration with Apple, more than tripling its Apple at Target locations. The first shop-in-shops rolled out last year, and Target provided its associates with Apple-directed training to help shoppers in the dedicated areas. Read more.

5. Target

  • Overall Score: 80.20
  • Environmental Concern Score: 90.20
  • Social Concern Score: 70.30
  • Corporate Governance Concern Score: 80.10

In the news: Target is supersizing its store remodel strategy, now launching a series of larger-format stores that will feature nearly 150,000 square feet — 20,000 square feet more than the chain average. The company said the newer, more open layout — which it will be focusing on in the next few years — will allow Target to localize elements that “inspire and serve guests.” Read more.

6. Carter’s

  • Overall Score: 79.40
  • Environmental Concern Score: 88.70
  • Social Concern Score: 74.70
  • Corporate Governance Concern Score: 75.00

7. Deckers Outdoor

  • Overall Score: 78.80
  • Environmental Concern Score: 69.70
  • Social Concern Score: 82.80
  • Corporate Governance Concern Score: 84.00

8. Gap

  • Overall Score: 78.20
  • Environmental Concern Score: 77.40
  • Social Concern Score: 68.00
  • Corporate Governance Concern Score: 89.20

9. The Home Depot

  • Overall Score: 77.80
  • Environmental Concern Score: 78.60
  • Social Concern Score: 76.6
  • Corporate Governance Concern Score: 78.30

In the news: Home Depot has found success in its mobile app technology, among other areas, building out digital experiences that meet the ever-evolving needs of the consumers it serves as well as the staff it employs. Learn more. 

10. Yum! Brands

  • Overall Score: 77.70
  • Environmental Concern Score: 91.60
  • Social Concern Score: 62.80
  • Corporate Governance Concern Score: 78.90

In the news: Yum! Brands is leveraging spatial analytics to lead a massive international expansion and zone in on behavior and location insights to plan their growth strategies. Learn more.

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