Last fall, the digital payment company spent tens of millions of dollars to raise its workers’ wages and lower the costs of their benefits. This spring, as the pandemic led to tens of millions of layoffs, CEO Dan Schulman (at left in photo, with PayPal employees in Omaha) pledged that all PayPal jobs would be safe from COVID-related cuts. The company also played a major role in bolstering other people’s security: It helped some customers get faster access to their coronavirus stimulus payments, by waiving the 1% fees it usually charges to rapidly cash payroll and government checks. In a crisis, “if you put your employees first and you put your customers first, then nobody forgets that, and you come out of this in a really strong position,” Schulman told Fortune in April. PayPal’s subsequent performance has borne out his argument. The company in July reported its strongest quarter ever as an independent company: Second-quarter revenue jumped 22% from a year earlier, to $5.3 billion, with profit nearly doubled, to $1.5 billion.

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PR Newswire , Sep 21, 2020

FORTUNE Announces Sixth Annual Change the World List of Companies That Are Doing Well By Doing Good

“The Vaccine Makers” take the Top Spot, Followed by Alibaba at No. 2, and PayPal at No. 3

NEW YORK, Sept. 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Today, FORTUNE reveals its sixth annual “Change the World” list, which showcases over 50 companies that have made an important social or environmental impact through their profit-making strategy and operations this year. Companies are recognized for innovative business strategies that positively impact the world. This year’s list includes 28 companies from the U.S. and Canada; 10 from Asia and the Middle East; 8 from Europe; and 3 each from Africa and Latin America.

The introduction to the 2020 list explains: “FORTUNE’s Change the World list is built on the premise that the profit motive can inspire companies to tackle society’s unmet needs. The 2020 list stresses a crucial corollary: No business succeeds alone. Collaboration among companies, even among rivals, is a common thread in many of the stories that follow—in the effort to make “green” steel, in the campaign to close America’s racial wealth gap, and above all in the race for a COVID-19 vaccine. As we face unprecedented collective challenges—a global pandemic, climate change, profound income inequality—cooperation has become a business superpower.”

No. 1 on the 2020 Change the World list are “The Vaccine Makers,” drugmakers teaming up like never before to fight COVID-19. FORTUNE Editor-in-Chief Clifton Leaf writes, “For a sector that has long been at or near the bottom of public opinion ratings […] the COVID crisis has provided an opportunity for redemption. And many knowledgeable observers say the industry has grabbed it. Perhaps the most unexpected aspect to that response has been the sector’s wholehearted embrace of collaboration.” Read more here.

Also included on this year’s list at no. 18 are “Minority-Owned Banks,” working to close the wealth gap in America. Jen Wieczner writes, “Amid protests against systemic racism following the police killing of George Floyd, the “Bank Black” movement has gone mainstream, transforming Black financial institutions as it prompts individuals and even FORTUNE 500 companies to reconsider how they manage their money. At least a half dozen companies have committed roughly half a billion dollars to Black banks, seeing them as an efficient, fiscally sustainable way to boost Black communities.” Read more here.

View the complete 2020 Change the World list:



  1. The Vaccine Makers 
  2. Alibaba
  3. PayPal
  4. Nvidia 
  5. BlackRock 
  6. Zoom
  7. Safaricom 
  8. Regeneron 
  9. Walmart 
  10. Serum Institute of India

The Change the World list is developed in collaboration with the Shared Value Initiative. This final list was selected and ranked by the editors of FORTUNE based on the magazine’s own reporting and analysis. View the complete methodology here.

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