Data collection

The pre-compilation is the founding characteristic of Open Corporation and aims to evaluate, weigh and attribute the company rating on the basis of the available data (See in this regard the section “The compilation process”).

Based on previous experience, in order to ease the burden of compilation by the company management, as well as to improve the standardization and comparability of data, the questions/answers are of two different types: "open" and compilable by the management, "blocked" because pre-filled by the staff of OpenCorporation to which the management can report any errors directly to the staff.

The pre-compiling technique is therefore constantly evolving; for example, from using only "open" sources in versions 2017 and earlier; from 2018 onwards we have moved to making use of "public" sources provided mainly by the Database Orbis by Bureau van Dijk from which much of the data contained in the areas of governance, industry and employment, finance, as well as the corporate ID code and, when available, the company logo, the Peer-comparison which is a table developed by BvD that compares the company with competitors, derives.

The survey sheet is available on the site in the details section.

Scope and size of the OpenCorporation Observatory

The scope of analysis has increased from 200 companies (2017) to 2302 (2018); implementations will be constant.

The 2018 company target of 2302 companies includes those present in the databases: ETUI (EWC and SE), Fortune 500, S&P 500 Component Stocks USA, Down Jones index and Unicorns as of 2018. From 2019, scope can be further expanded upon request of users who can propose the inclusion of one or more companies in the list of more than 62,000 companies (those with at least 1,000 employees of which we have data. The lists of these companies in order of turnover, alphabetical and alphabetical by country, are available on the page Publical Drive.

Platform and web site

The platform and the site were created by the WebAgency ChannelWeb, and, having evaluated the proposals that CW formulated for the use of external services provided by companies that were not in conflict with the policies of the OpenCorporation project, considering that Amazon in Italy has signed a first collective agreement; and in Europe has started negotiations for the establishment of the European Works Council, the project staff has not hindered the use of services provided by AWS.

The original portal is still active at the following address: 2017.opencorporation.org.

Relations and comparison with other databases

The Company ID Code also serves to determine the country where the company has its headquarters (two-digit ISO code). This allows researchers to classify and evaluate companies also based on stricter conditions e.g. membership of the OECD, the European Union, or the ILO Conventions ratified by the country.

Data and rankings updates

Every year we define the dead-line for compilation, for 2018 it was December 13th. On occasion of the OpenCorporationDay which takes place at the end of the year (in 2017 it was identified with the publication of the first OpenCorporationRanking on 16 November; in 2018 it was 18 December) the photo taken at the last moment (“photo-finish”) is published. This picture represents the situation of the company's rating, both overall and in the individual analyzed topics; the set of ratings, ordered according to the acquired score, generates the overall ranking score and for each individual cluster.

The company survey form that produced the 2018 rating and ranking are "cloned" and become the starting point for the following year and will be constantly implemented by the Orbis BvD data stream, the OpenCorporation staff, and the management compilation. Starting from 2019 it will be possible to constantly compare the trend of the Rating, even daily, of each individual company on its own evaluation/position on the previous year, as well as with each of the other companies of the Observatory.

Weighting in 2017 e 2018

The structure of the company data collection form is based on a hierarchical matrix where the minimum information unit is the item, or the precise information on the individual company:

  • One or more items may correspond to a question,
  • a thematic section corresponds to more than one question,
  • a thematic indicator corresponds to one or more thematic sections,
  • the synthetic indicator OpenCorporation corresponds in a different form to the 7 different thematic indicators

The calculation of the rating and the consequent ranking of the companies analysed is based on a structure of weights on a scale of 100 with a hierarchical structure with an "inverted pyramid", that is, where more items contribute to determine the weight of a question, more questions the weight of the individual thematic sections relating to a thematic indicator and more thematic indicators to determine the synthetic indicator OpenCorporation (see in this regard "Hierarchical structure and weighing of information").

The company survey form consists of 539 separate items for each company of which 53.4% are functional to the calculation of the ratings and 46.6% have, instead, only an information function, i.e. they offer company details but without contributing to the calculation of the ratings.

The weight of each item and each question was determined by the individual experts involved in the process of building the platform and being part of the Scientific Technical Committee (STC). The weight of each thematic indicator for the calculation of the synthetic indicator OpenCorporation was also shared. The weight structure between 2017 and 2018 has been thoroughly revised taking into account the experience gained during the experimental phase and through a survey conducted on more than 250 stakeholders (surveymonkey). Any comparison between the ratings 2017 and 2018 is therefore impractical.

To date, the thematic indicators that contribute the most to the calculation of the synthetic OpenCorporation indicator are Social Dialogue (25%, precisely because it is a ranking born in a trade union context), Working conditions (15%, the importance of which was highlighted by the stakeholders interviewed). The other 5 thematic indicators contribute equally (12% each).

Data implementation and verification procedures

It should be noted that the data and information provided by the Orbis Database derive from official sources in "all" countries, e.g. financial statements filed in accordance with the regulations applied in the country. This information/data undergoes a "standardization" process to make it comparable. Management compilation is useful for reporting possible errors, e.g. the NACE Code, which is still the code before changes in company activity, or the reversal of roles between CEO and President. Such errors, on which we are intervening, can be caused by the processing processes but most of the time, we have found, result from a compilation error on the official document completed by the company and filed.

Ethical codes, social and sustainability reports, etc. can only be evaluated if they are comparable. The reference standard adopted is the GRI Global Reporting Initiative which allows you to collect and classify information and data that are targets of Open Corporation.

The other databases used are the same as in 2017, e.g.

For social dialogue:

  • The European Works Councils database www.ewcdb.eu
  • The European Trade Union Institute's European company (SE) database ecdb.worker-participation.eu
  • Database on transnational agreements (ILO and EU Commission)

For corporate social responsibility:

  • UN Global Compact www.unglobalcompact.org
  • SA8000 www.sa-intl.org

For information on other used sources: “Sources and Insights”.

For an easier reading of the methodology, we will describe only the changes made compared to 2017, it is recommended to follow the scheme / chapters of the survey sheet on which all company data are available (on the web page "Company rating" for reasons of space is available only a selection of such data) "Following the progression of filling out the survey form 2018:

Occorre evidenziare che i dati e le informazioni fornite dalla Banca Dati Orbis derivano da fonti ufficiali di “tutti” i Paesi, ad es. i bilanci finanziari depositati secondo le normative applicate nel Paese. Tali informazioni/dati subiscono un processo di “standardizzazione” affinché siano comparabili. La compilazione del management è utile a segnalare possibili errori, ad es. il Codice NACE che è ancora quello precedente a modifiche dell’attività sociale, oppure l’inversione di ruoli fra CEO e Presidente. Simili errori, sui quali stiamo intervenendo, possono essere causati dai processi di elaborazione ma il più delle volte, abbiamo riscontrato, derivano da un errore di compilazione presente sul documento ufficiale compilato dall’azienda e depositato.

Codici etici, bilanci sociali e di sostenibilità, ecc. sono valutabili solo se comparabili. Lo standard di riferimento adottato è il GRI Global Reporting Initiative http://database.globalreporting.org/ che consente di raccogliere e classificare informazioni e dati che sono target di Open Corporation.

Le altre banche dati utilizzate sono le medesime del 2017, ad es.

Per il Dialogo Sociale:

  • The European Works Councils database www.ewcdb.eu
  • The European Trade Union Institute's European company (SE) database ecdb.worker-participation.eu
  • Banca dati sugli accordi aziendali transnazionali (ILO e Commissione EU)


Per la Responsabilità Sociale di Impresa:

  • UN Global Compact www.unglobalcompact.org
  • SA8000 www.sa-intl.org

Per le ulteriori fonti utilizzate visita la sezione “Fonti e Approfondimenti”.

Per una più agevole lettura della metodologia, si descriveranno le sole modifiche apportate rispetto al 2017, si consiglia di seguire lo schema/capitoli della scheda di rilevazione sulla quale sono disponibili tutti i dati aziendali (sulla pagina web “Rating aziendale” per ragioni di spazio è disponibile solo una selezione di tali dati).

Seguendo la progressione di compilazione della scheda di rilevazione 2018:

Profile

The news on the collected and available data are:

  • Financial and public company identification codes;
  • Different levels of control and owners;
  • Number of branches (the possibility of publishing the list of company names, sector and location of each branch being evaluated);
  • Legal derivations resulting from the international behaviour of the country where the company is based .

Governance

The news on the collected and available data are:

  • CEO’s remuneration;
  • CEO’s general information;
  • The number of positions held on other Boards of Directors (the possibility of publishing the list of company names is being evaluated).

Business Sector and Employment

Unfortunately, the data in the balance sheet are lacking in employment data, especially in the distinction between gender and country. Sustainability reports" are also often incomplete. Analytical data is compiled by the management, who often has information with different standards than those required; e.g. subdivisions by internal business areas rather than by "regions", e.g. Europe.

In addition to the reconfirmation of the primary and secondary NACE Codes; the multi-annual global employment data, such as the description of the company activity, are then included in the Company Rating Web Page.

Social Dialog

The news on the collected and available data are:

  • n addition to agreements to install the European Works Council (EWC) or transform it into Societas Europaea (SE), Transnational Agreements by sector (e.g. Bangladesh Accord) or by company (e.g. Global Works Councils);
  • European Directives and ILO Conventions applied "voluntarily".

Social responsibility

  • In addition to confirming the application of the main ISO standards, environmental and social certifications, the application of the GRI Global reporting initiative standard is also used to a greater extent;
  • explicit adhesion to the SDGs (Social Development Goals);
  • we highlight the most recent regulations on: Integrated Budget and Directive 95/2014 on the provision of non-financial information;
  • VThe Environment, Social, Governance (ESG) RepRisk Index is introduced (and can be consulted with a monthly update on the Company Rating Web Page),: Last Month and Peak in the last 2 years.

Working conditions

This is the 2017 scheme with the opportunity to make more consistent comparisons by NACE sector, e.g. in the field of accidents. Assessments are underway on how to go deeper into these data. The most interesting aspect, especially on these issues, is provided by the Company Rating Web Page, which allows each company to be compared with all the others present in the observatory, encouraging improvement processes. The main innovation compared to the previous version is the "concatenation of answers" concerning the thematic section on working conditions at the Global Reporting Initiative: many of the questions/answers present are answered affirmatively if GRI is applied.

Finance

This section is where we find most new elements. A large amount of financial and balance sheet data for a four-year historical series, with an important set of financial indicators (partly also available on the Company Rating Web Page). In this chapter, thanks to the experts of the CTS (Scientific Technical Committee) and OpenCorporation (Centro Studi Filcams), we are evaluating further insights, including on budget annexes, as well as the possibility of "giving weight" to this large amount of information.

In addition, version 2017 included a specific transparency ranking that rewarded companies that published more on the site and on social reports, making their behavior comparatively more transparent. Since 2018, we have been obtaining data from "public" and "official" sources. We have found that, in particular for financial and balance sheet data, the amount of information available is very different, from country to country, or for different company names, or for listed or unlisted companies; we are therefore assessing whether the transparency index should continue to be calculated, at least to compare financial aspects.

Diversity

In addition to the 2017 version, in particular for this chapter, the "concatenation of questions" has been experimentally adopted; specifically, if the company has its parent company in an OECD country, the EU assumes that it applies certain minimum standards of human rights; the same methodology is applied to the company that applies e.g. the GRI.

Accessibility

In the 2017 version, we tested the accessibility of the websites of the 200 companies during the pre-compilation phase; since 2018, the collection of accessibility data has been developed in parallel with regard to the policies adopted both on the web and in the company's behaviour aimed both at employees and collaborators, and at users. Some specificities are being defined/weighed, e.g. the application of EU standards as well as the presence on the company website of a web page describing the web-accessibility-policy.

Environment

The experimentation of the "concatenation between questions" has effects also in this chapter. In addition to the application of ISO standards, the application of other standards such as Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS), MCERTS (Environment Agency's Monitoring Certification Scheme), CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) also has an impact. In addition, regarding the environmental aspects, an Environment, Social, Governance Index (ESG) RepRisk: Last Month and Peak in the last 2 years has been published on the Corporate Rating Web Page.

Glossary

Insights:
is the web space dedicated to those who wish to consult further data and information produced by OpenCorporation
Company ID:
BvD code
Corporate Compilation:
further compilation of the survey form by the management of the company accredited by OpenCorporation
Concatenation of questions:
cascade effect determined by previous demand; e.g. the company's registered office in a country of the European Union presupposes the application of the Directives
OpenCorporation:
the project name; sometimes it is used with hashtag # also for events e.g. #OpenCorporationDay, #OpenCorporationRanking2018
OpenCorporation_1.0:
2016 Milan first test carried out on 50 companies
OpenCorporation_2.0:
2017 April Budapest second test on 100 companies
OpenCorporation_3.0:
2017 November Brussels First OpenCorporationRanking of 200 companies
OpenCorporation_4.0:
2018 #OpenCorporationDay 181218 Rome on 2302 companies
OpenCorporation_4.0.1:
2019.
Company Rating Web Page:
page that OpenCorporation publishes for each company under observation
Pre-compiling:
the compilation of the survey form carried out by the staff of OpenCorporation
Ranking:
ranking of the evaluations estimated with the parameters of OpenCorporation, also by individual topic
Rating:
evaluation of the business behaviour estimated with the parameters of OpenCorporation, also by individual topic
Data collection form:
Questionnaire with Question (Q) and Answer (A) as the basis for "compiling"
Topic:
topic observed, measured and weighed according to the OpenCorporation evaluation

Methodology 2017

It is possible to consult the documentation on the methodology previously used, by visiting the specific section in the archive of the OpenCorporation 2017 web site.