NEW YORK | Thu Mar 3, 2011 2:51pm EST  - Johnson Controls Inc., the Wisconsin-based automotive interiors giant, came out on top on the most recent list of the 100 best corporate citizens in America.

Campbell Soup Co. and IBM ranked second and third on the list, published by Corporate Responsibility Magazine.

"Johnson Controls generated real change, jumping from number 22 in 2009 right up to the number one spot in 2010," magazine publisher Richard Crespin said on Thursday.

The list has been published annually for the past 12 years and ranks companies based on their performance on seven fronts: the environment, climate change, employee relations, human rights, governance, finance and philanthropy.

Information was gathered from publicly disclosed documents, so openness was applauded by the magazine. Overall, companies scored 5% better than in 2009, with notable improvements in financial transparency.

Dirk Olin, the editor and publisher of Corporate Responsibility Magazine, said he believes transparency is what pushes companies to transform over time. "If everyone agrees to, in a sense, better self-regulate, we can start to get companies to become better citizens themselves."

(Reporting by Bernd Debusmann Jr.; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Jerry Norton)

© 2010 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.

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