Accountability score*: 56
Global 500 rank: 26
Behind Vodafone, HSBC - the London-based global bank - comes in second among non-energy and utility companies on this year's list. It fell a few spots from last year, from No. 4 to No. 7. Partly, that's because this year's ranking methods changed slightly. Companies are expected to improve, not just keep up last year's practices. And banks like HSBC that don't have obvious big carbon-dioxide footprints, are expected to do a better job addressing the social and environmental impacts of, say, the companies in their loan portfolio, not just their own facilities. Fortunately for HSBC, it does that better than any other bank. HSBC follows the World Bank's Equator Principles in its lending, and set up its own sector guidelines that companies in areas like forestry and chemicals must follow to win loans.