The Fortune 500 is an annual list compiled and published by Fortune magazine that ranks 500 of the largest United States corporations by total revenue for their respective fiscal years.[1] The list includes publicly held companies, along with privately held companies for which revenues are publicly available. The concept of the Fortune 500 was created by Edgar P. Smith, a Fortune editor, and the first list was published in 1955.[2][3] The Fortune 500 is more commonly used than its subset Fortune 100 or superset Fortune 1000.[4]

The July 24, 2006 issue of Fortune, featuring its Fortune 500 list

History Edit

The Fortune 500, created by Edgar P. Smith, was first published in 1955.[2] The original top ten companies were General Motors, Jersey Standard, U.S. Steel, General Electric, Esmark, Chrysler, Armour, Gulf Oil, Mobil, and DuPont.[5]

Impact on Climate Change Edit

In recent years, there has been a growing focus on the environmental impact of large corporations, including those listed in the Fortune 500.[6] As part of this increasing awareness, the first-ever report on Fortune 500 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions was published on January 26, 2022. The report, released by Recapture, a climate tech company in the carbon removal space, aimed to analyze and quantify the carbon footprints of Fortune 500 companies, providing valuable insights into their contributions to global emissions. According to the report, Fortune 500 companies were estimated to be responsible for approximately 27% of global emissions. While actual reported emissions from these companies equaled about 8.04 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) in 2018 and 7.56 billion tonnes in 2019, the true footprint, as estimated by Recapture, was roughly 13.34 billion tonnes of CO2e in 2018 and 13.15 billion tonnes of CO2e in 2019. The report also highlighted the prevalence of inconsistent reporting and undercounting of emissions, particularly in regards to Scope 3 emissions—the emissions resulting from customers' use of a company's products or services.[7] The findings of this report sparked discussions on the need for improved and standardized measurement and reporting practices to address the environmental impact of Fortune 500 companies.[8]

SEC Climate Disclosure Rule for Public Companies Edit

In 2022, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed rule changes to enhance and standardize climate-related disclosures for investors.[9] These proposed changes, if adopted, would require registrants to include specific climate-related disclosures in their registration statements and periodic reports. The aim of these rules is to provide investors with consistent and comparable information for making informed investment decisions, while also establishing clear reporting obligations for issuers. The proposed rules would require disclosure of a registrant's governance of climate-related risks, the impact of climate-related risks on their business and financial statements, and the effects of climate-related events and transition activities on their financial statements.[10] Additionally, the rules would require disclosure of greenhouse gas emissions, including Scope 1, Scope 2, and Scope 3 emissions. The SEC Chair, Gary Gensler, expressed support for the proposed rules, highlighting the need for reliable information about climate risks to help investors assess financial risks and make informed decisions. The proposed rule changes aim to provide companies and investors with clear guidelines and meet the demand for consistent and comparable climate-related information in financial reporting.[11]

During the public comment period for the proposed rules, Eric Kenny, an emissions analyst, provided feedback to the SEC. Kenny presented data from the Recapture "Fortune 500" report, conducted for the years 2018 and 2019, which analyzed publicly available GHG emission figures of the largest publicly-traded firms in the US. The data highlighted gaps in reporting and inconsistencies in GHG emissions disclosure. Kenny advocated for the adoption of the proposed rules, emphasizing the need for standardized frameworks and mandatory reporting of emissions to understand and measure the overall impact of corporate emitters.[12]

In his comment to the SEC regarding the proposed rules for climate-related disclosures, Eric Kenny, an emissions analyst, presented data from the "Fortune 500" report for 2018 and 2019. The analysis highlighted gaps in reporting and inconsistencies in GHG emissions disclosure among the largest publicly-held companies in the US. Kenny advocated for the adoption of the proposed rules and emphasized the need for standardized frameworks and mandatory reporting of emissions. He supported the inclusion of Scope 3/value-chain emissions in reporting, as they constituted a significant portion of overall GHG totals for Fortune 500 companies. Kenny also endorsed the use of gross GHG figures, a multi-year phase and revision process for value-chain emissions, adherence to GHG protocol, third-party attestation, and disclosure of targets and baseline emissions to aid investors in assessing firms' climate commitments and goals. He emphasized the importance of measurable and comparable GHG emission figures for prospective investors.[13]

Methodology Edit

The original Fortune 500 was limited to companies whose revenues were derived from manufacturing, mining, and energy exploration. At the same time, Fortune published companion "Fortune 50" lists of the 50 largest commercial banks (ranked by assets), utilities (ranked by assets), life insurance companies (ranked by assets), retailers (ranked by gross revenues) and transportation companies (ranked by revenues). Fortune magazine changed its methodology in 1994 to include service companies. With the change came 291 new entrants to the famous list including three in the Top 10.[14] There is a lag in creating the list, so for example, the 2019 Fortune 500 is based on each company's financial years ending in late 2018 (most commonly, on December 31), or early 2019.[citation needed]

Influence Edit

As of 2020, the Fortune 500 companies represent approximately two-thirds of the United States' gross domestic product with approximately $14.2 trillion in revenue, $1.2 trillion in profits, and $20.4 trillion in total market value. These revenue figures also account for approximately 18% of the gross world product. The companies collectively employ a total of 29.2 million people worldwide, or nearly 0.4% of the world's total population.[15]

Overview Edit

The following is the list of top 20 companies.[16]

Fortune 500 list of 2022
Rank Company State Industry Revenue in USD
1 Walmart   Arkansas General merchandisers $572.8 billion
2 Amazon   Washington Internet service and retailing $469.8 billion
3 Apple   California Technology $365.8 billion
4 CVS Health   Rhode Island Health care: pharmacy and other services $292.1 billion
5 UnitedHealth Group   Minnesota Health care: insurance and managed care $287.6 billion
6 ExxonMobil   Texas Petroleum refining $285.6 billion
7 Berkshire Hathaway   Nebraska Insurance: property and casualty (stock) $276.1 billion
8 Alphabet   California Internet services and retailing $257.6 billion
9 Chevron Corporation   California Energy, oil and gas $246.3 billion
10 McKesson   Texas Wholesalers: health care $238.2 billion
11 Costco   Washington Wholesalers $226.95 billion
12 AmerisourceBergen   Pennsylvania Wholesalers: health care $214.0 billion
13 Microsoft   Washington Technology $198.3 billion
14 Cardinal Health   Ohio Healthcare $181.364 billion
15 Cigna   Connecticut Managed care, insurance $180.62 billion
16 Marathon Petroleum   Ohio Petroleum $179.95 billion
17 The Home Depot   Georgia Retail $157.4 billion
18 Elevance Health   Indiana Insurance $156.6 billion
19 Walgreens Boots Alliance   Illinois Pharmacy, retail $132.7 billion
20 AT&T   Texas Telecommunications, technology $120.74 billion

Breakdown by state Edit

This is the list of the top 18 states with the most companies within the Fortune 500.[17]

Breakdown by state
Rank State Companies
1   California 53
  New York 53
3   Texas 49
4   Illinois 28
5   Ohio 25
6   Pennsylvania 24
7   Virginia 22
8   Florida 20
9   Georgia 19
10   Massachusetts 18
  Minnesota 18
12   Michigan 17
13   New Jersey 16
14   Connecticut 14
15   North Carolina 12
16   Colorado 10
  Missouri 10
  Tennessee 10

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ "Fortune 500". Fortune. Retrieved September 17, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Edgar Smith, 69, Dies; Retired Time Executive". The New York Times. October 12, 1989. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
  3. ^ "1955 Full list". Fortune. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
  4. ^ Williams, Sean (June 4, 2015). "Fortune 100: Everything You've Ever Wanted to Know About This Popular Annual Ranking". The Motley Fool. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
  5. ^ "What happened to the first Fortune 500?". Fortune. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
  6. ^ "Corporate Honesty and Climate Change: Time to Own Up and Act". 2019-02-26. Retrieved 2023-07-07.
  7. ^ Barbato, Adele; Kenny, Eric; Weiner, Philip-Michael; Pringle, Samuel (Trey); Volmer, María Elisa (26 January 2022). "Fortune 500 Emissions Report FY2019". Recapture.
  8. ^ "Fortune 500 companies have significantly undercounted their GHG emissions". FootPrint Coalition. 2022-01-27. Retrieved 2023-07-07.
  9. ^ "Federal Register :: Request Access". Retrieved 2023-07-07.
  10. ^ " | SEC Proposes Rules to Enhance and Standardize Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors". Retrieved 2023-07-07.
  11. ^ " | Statement on Proposed Mandatory Climate Risk Disclosures". Retrieved 2023-07-07.
  12. ^ " | Comments on Proposed rule S7-10-22". Retrieved 2023-07-08.
  13. ^ "Comments of Eric Kenny on Jun. 17, 2022". Retrieved 2023-07-08.
  14. ^ Groves, Martha (April 26, 1995). "Service Now Counts with Fortune 500". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 12, 2017.
  15. ^ Klooster, Alison (May 18, 2020). "FORTUNE Announces 2020 FORTUNE 500 List, Launches First Ever "History Of The FORTUNE 500" Data Analytics Visualization Site With Partner Qli". Fortune. Retrieved October 1, 2020 – via Cision PR Newswire.
  16. ^ "Fortune 500 List of Companies 2022". Fortune. Retrieved 1 July 2022.
  17. ^ "Visualize the Fortune 500". Fortune. Retrieved 29 November 2021.

External links Edit