Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Companies with a Conscience

In April, the Ethisphere Institute released its list of the World's Most Ethical Companies. According to the organization, "the designation recognizes companies that go beyond making statements about doing business ethically and translate those words into action." Companies awarded the designation lead the way in the ethical practices and compliance programs.

Although the Ethisphere Institute does not create the registry with a specific number of slots in mind, the 2010 list encompasses 100 companies in a variety of industries. This year, 26 companies are new to the list, while 24 companies from last year's list are absent in the current edition, mainly from increased competition.

To make the list, companies submitted applications throughout the year for consideration by a methodology committee comprised of attorneys, professors, government officials, and organization leaders. Semi-finalists received an in-depth survey regarding ethics, compliance, governance, and corporate social responsibility. Upon data verification, the Ethisphere Institute assigned each company scores in seven categories:
  • Corporate citizenship and responsibility
  • Corporate governance
  • Innovation that contributes to public well being
  • Industry leadership
  • Executive leadership and tone from the top
  • Legal, regulatory, and reputation track record
  • Internal systems and ethics/compliance program
Campbell Soup Company, General Mills, and PepsiCo were among the food and beverage companies on the list. Food stores Trader Joe's, Wegmans, and Whole Foods Market also made the list, as well as specialty retailers Best Buy, Gap, IKEA, and Target. Starbucks was the only restaurant/café to earn a spot the list.

To learn more about the report, download the 2010 Ethisphere Media Responsibility PDF.

What about you? Are you more inclined to purchase goods and services from businesses that are recognized for their ethical or corporate social responsibility practices? Leave a message and tell me about your shopping preferences.

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