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” in the 2017 original website).

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. During 2019, pre-compiling was perfected by collecting from Bureau Van Dijk not only balance sheet data regarding industrial corporations but also concerning banks and insurance companies, with a different balance sheet structure.

Scope and size of the OpenCorporation Observatory

The scope of observation has increased from 200 companies (2017) to 2302 (2018) and has affected almost 10,000 multinational companies in 2019.

During 2019, however, a distinction was made between the analysis perimeters, dividing the almost 10,000 multinational companies into two groups. For the companies of the first grouping, more than 500 multinationals, thematic indicators and the consequent OpenCorporation ranking were produced (see here). A company info page has been produced concerning the almost 10,000 companies of the second group. The difference between the two observation perimeters is the amount of information available through the consultation of different databases (Orbis di Bureau Van Dijk, Etui EWC Database, Global report initiative, Sa800, ISO26000, CDP, Global Compact, Transparency Index, Modern Slavery, SDGs, OECD Guidelines). Thematic indicators are produced only regarding companies that exceed a minimum threshold of available information, while for the others, to avoid producing thematic indicators that are not sufficiently robust, it is preferable to provide a summary information sheet.

The full list of the almost 10,000 companies is available here.

The perimeters of the two groups are dynamic and the passage from one to the other is strictly dependent on the amount of information available. The field of observation can also be constantly expanded at the request of users, who can propose the inclusion of one or more companies among those contained in the list of more than 62,000 companies (those with at least 1,000 employees of which we possess 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 and for 2019 it was the 18th of December. On occasion of the OpenCorporationDay which takes place at the end of the year 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 rating and ranking during a year 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 2020 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. Also from 2020, the thematic Rating of each individual company in the OpenCorporation ranking also takes into account any (substantiated) reports/contestations raised by third parties (Organizations Trade Unions, All, Consumer Associations and individual citizens).

Weighting

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" on the original 207 website).

The company survey form consists of over 500 (543 in the 2020 survey) separate items for each company of which a majority (51.2% in the 2020 survey) are functional to the calculation of the ratings and the remaining (48.8% in the 2020 survey) 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. Based on the experience gained and as a result of a network built over time with other rating systems of multinational corporations, the 2020 survey has introduced important changes by continuing to promote the compilation by the management and, on the other hand, inserted into calculation methods the outputs/scores of other international ratings (in particular RepRisk, TRUCOST and MORE). Therefore, we wanted to create a balance, in terms of weight, between the information compiled by the management and the information derivable from other rating/valuation systems.

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 changes in governance. 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 following:

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:

Profile

The news on the collected and available data are:

  • Financial and public company identification codes;
  • Different levels of control and owners;
  • Number of subsidiaries;
  • Map with the global geolocation of subsidiaries and with a clustered view of their distribution. For each individual subsidiary, a summary sheet has been produced in which, if available on the BVD database, the name of the company, the shareholding of the parent company, the NACE reference code and some balance sheet data (employment and turnover) are shown;
  • 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 (See as an example the ENEL and LVMH company pages)..

Social Dialogue

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 (ESG, Environment, Social and Governance)

  • 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 (Sustainable 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. Since 2020, the monthly RepRisk indicator is linked to the calculation of social responsibility rating.

Working conditions

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 2020, two dimensions were introduced in the calculation of the rating of financial behaviour: the fiscal impact, and thus a measure of the fiscal behaviour of a company (measured by the ratio of the taxes paid during the year to the total value of production) and financial transparency (built on the level of confidence produced by the MORE index - Multi Objective Rating Evaluation - which measures financial soundness of a company).

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 (Global Reporting Initiative).

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. In this thematic section we applied as well the "concatenation between questions" in case the individual company adopts the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) as a criterion of social accountability.

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. In the 2020 sheet, the environmental dimension has introduced the TRUCOST indicators on the environment into its analysis scheme, distributing on the latter the predominant part of the weight structure (in particular on the general score and confidence level).

News

Since 2020 for the almost 10,000 multinationals included in the OpenCorporation Observatory, a section dedicated to news has been introduced on the company webpage, i.e. information traced and collected on the main national and international online newspapers (the news are reported in the original language in Italian and English).

Reports/complaints by third parties

From 2020 for companies in the OpenCorporation ranking (504) a section dedicated to reports/contestations by third parties (trade unions, NGOs, consumer associations, the press and ordinary citizens) was introduced. In case any subject would wish to report/complaint against a company's behaviour which is not in line with the findings of the rating/ranking OpenCorporation, he/she is invited to write at info@opencorporation.org. The team of OpenCorporation reserves the right to assess the reliability of the reporting/complaint and, in case of positive identification, it undertakes to ask the management of the company concerned for a reply. In case the response from the management does not arrive on time or if it is not deemed sufficient to deny or justify the reported behavior, the OpenCorporation team will apply a Penalty based on thematic ratings, the impact of which inevitably also affects the final ranking, proportional to the severity of the behaviour itself.

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.