A new ranking of the global Fortune 100 measuring the level of social engagement around a company’s purpose-inspired communications places Walmart in the top spot.  Citigroup, GE, Procter & Gamble and Toshiba also make the list of top-five performers.

Produced by MSLGroup, the PurPle Index uses social data, qualitative research waves, and a proprietary algorithm to evaluate and score Fortune’s top-ranked 100 companies worldwide on a number of criteria including successful storytelling of the company’s purpose, the strength of the company’s call-to-action and the level of engagement with the company in social media.

According to Pascal Beucler, chief strategy officer at MSL: “Walmart has understood that communicating your purpose and how it inspires your business strategy is important, but in today’s world companies that want to drive positive change in   business and society must go way beyond communicating to actively engaging with their stakeholders.”

Beucler highlighted Walmart’s deep understanding of collaborative social innovation. Through the company’s Live Better program, Walmart involved all its stakeholders in an effort to lower energy use and reduce waste.At the same time, its ‘Do One Thing’ initiative inspired customers and partners to infuse major causes with their own personal energy.

In addition to analyzing how well companies were engaging with stakeholders to inspire purpose, the PurPle Index benchmarks engagement in four specific areas: health, environment, education and human potential—categories that represent the issues on which companies are focusing today to drive change in society and their business. 

The research found:
• GE is not only a top five performer overall, it also leads the rankings in the core areas of both environment and health
• P&G and Toshiba are strong overall performers; P&G leads in in education and health, and Toshiba in environment and human potential
• Wells-Fargo, though not a top five performer overall, leads the ranking for education-inspired purpose initiatives
• Tech-related companies dominate the area of human potential.