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Good corporate citizens

Here's more recognition for companies doing good.

Last week, the mutual-fund company Citizens Funds, based in Portsmouth, N.H., awarded Corporate Citizenship Awards to 12 of the companies represented in its Citizens Index Fund. The awards are linked to the firms' performance in six key categories. The fund is one of the largest socially and environmentally responsible mutual funds.

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The winners, by category:

Community Cox Communications, Nextel

Communications, Starbucks

Coffee Company

Diversity Bell South, American Express;

Avon Products

Employee Relations Southwest Airlines

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Education The McGraw-Hill Companies,

BJ's Wholesale Clubs

Human Rights Liz Claiborne

Environment Tellabs, Apple Computer

"All 300 companies [in the fund] pass the screens in all of these areas," notes Joe Keefe, executive vice president of the Citizens Index Fund. "But these companies are those whose efforts and innovations stood out."

In determining which companies qualify for the fund, analysts carefully evaluate their respective social and environmental policies. Companies that deal with tobacco or weapons, for example, are disqualified, Mr. Keefe says.

Companies must also have representation from women and minorities in their upper ranks, Keefe says.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society