Frequently Asked Questions

No, Responsible 100 is not limited to just 100 participating firms. Hopefully, in time, many thousands will join. All businesses listed here gain a score out of 100, it is an indication of how responsible a company's practices are. 100 is the theoretical highest average score a business can achieve. This would require that all the policies and practices it describes in all the questions it answers are considered EXCELLENT, which is highly unlikely for any company that has answered more than 4 or 5 questions.

To gain a Responsible 100 score, a company must answer questions about its responsibility practices. Each answer is scored by identifying one of four levels of responsible business behaviour - POOR, OKAY, GOOD or EXCELLENT - and numerical scores of 10, 40, 70 or 100 are assigned accordingly. The average score, also the “Responsible 100 score”, is a company's cumulative score divided by the number of questions it has answered.

Here are a few illustrative examples:

Standard (Score) Business A Business B Business C
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q5 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q5 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q5
EXCELLENT (100)
GOOD (70)
OKAY (40)
POOR (10)
Cumulative score 240 260 170
Questions answered 3 5 2
Average score 80 52 85

Responsible 100's operation is funded by the fees businesses pay to participate. Fee information is set out here.

The Responsible 100 test is one of honesty, openness, and the willingness to explain. Businesses are not expected to be EXCELLENT or even GOOD in everything they do, they must simply be able to publicly justify what they do across their organisations.

The team at Responsible 100 supports and mentors any business in responding to the questionnaire. Businesses may do this simply to better understand how they are performing, there is no obligation on businesses to go on to publish their answers.

While businesses are not obliged to publish their answers, some choose to do so here on the Responsible 100 website.

Businesses may prefer, initially, only to share their responses with selected stakeholders, for example, employees or investors. However, most of the businesses which tackle the questionnaire soon come to realise that, while they may not be perfect (who is?), they have been responding to the various responsibility challenges they face in appropriate ways, they can justify and explain what they do, and therefore they have much to gain by sharing their answers with the public at large.

Currently, there is no minimum set of questions a business must answer. However, a specified number of questions will need to be answered as a minimum soon - perhaps five. Further, it is intended that to participate year on year, a business must answer more questions than in the previous year, achieve a higher score, or ideally both.

The extent to which an issue is material to a business is affected by a number of things. For example, the size and sector of a business, and the industry it operates in.

It is easy to imagine how expectations would differ, and thus how standards of performance could differ, between partial materiality and high materiality. As the table below suggests, it is quite conceivable that a business could be GOOD, as well as OKAY, where an issue is of low materiality. This stated, POOR and EXCELLENT are difficult to imagine where materiality is low.

Materiality to Business / Expected Performance
Standard Low materiality Partially material Highly material
Excellent (100) N/A Complies with pre-existing best practices comprehensively At the forefront of developing new-best practices. Business works to externally promote/highlight importance of issue
Good (70) Recognises importance of issue to other businesses, stakeholders and wider society and promotes or is supportive of best practices Recognises salience of issue. Where existing policies are not comprehensive, future intentions to improve are clearly stated Complies with pre-existing best practices comprehensively
Okay (40) Recognises importance of issue to other businesses, stakeholders and wider society Some relevant policies and practices although adopted on an ad hoc basis Recognises salience of issue. Where existing policies are not comprehensive, future intentions to improve are clearly stated
Poor (10) N/A Doing less than the bare minimum Some relevant policies and practices although adopted on an ad hoc basis

Having explored various options on how best to introduce a simple measure of materiality which can lay alongside the current metrics, R100 has begun asking businesses to determine whether they consider a given issue to be ‘HIGHLY MATERIAL’, ‘PARTIALLY MATERIAL’ or ‘NOT MATERIAL’. This is done through a simple measure of self-assessment. Soon, it may be that this measure of materiality is displayed alongside the answers which businesses publish. This is work in progress.

While the scores awarded and the scorecards used to assess businesses' answers are open for scrutiny and challenge by participating companies and the public at large, the only sure fire way for a business to attain a greater cumulative score is for it to improve its responsibility practices or to publish responses to additional questions.

Responsible 100 is delivered by Profit Through Ethics Ltd, the London based social business that devised and developed the concept and platform.