The Indian telecom has jumpstarted India’s digital economy by connecting 212 million customers to speedy, dirt-cheap internet in just 22 months. Fortune’s list of 56 companies “using the profit motive to help the planet and tackle social problems” come from 19 countries.
Multi-billion firm Xylem, in Rye Brook, New York, came in at No. 7 for its water efficiency and treatment solutions, including the pumping system that helped free the Thai youth soccer team from the flooded cave. No. 8, Swiss industrial tech firm ABB, with 147,000 employees in 100 countries, has installed 7,000 fast charging stations for electric vehicle worldwide, with plans to install hundreds in the U.S. next year.
- Companies with less than a billion in revenues. The 200 million customers of fintech firm Wari in Dakar, Senegal have exchanged more than $5 billion through 500,000 outlets in banks, shops, and freestanding kiosks. Aucma in Qingdao, China, produces the Arktek portable cooler than helped curbed the Ebola epidemic in the DR Congo this summer by transporting vaccines where the power grid is unreliable. Swiss firm Education First, founded in the 1960s, employs more than 50,000 in 55 countries to facilitate cross-cultural understanding through student trips, exchange programs, and foreign language schools.
- Mapping the changemakers.