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US Business Scores Big on World's Most Ethical Companies List

|Mar 21|magazine10 min read

 

Each year, the research-based Ethisphere Institute puts together a list of the World’s Most Ethical Companies, with the understanding that ethics and performance are two business values that are forever linked.

“Ethics are absolute. Business ethics are relational. And ethical leadership requires a position,” says Ethisphere. “The winners of the World’s Most Ethical Companies are the standouts. Each of these companies will have materially higher scores versus their competitors.”

Winners of the designation are chosen through a fairly simple process. Companies can submit a nomination if they feel they are worthy of the ranking and Ethisphere contacts companies that have received third-party nominations and winners of past years. Then, all nominated companies can submit an Ethics Quotient Survey. Ethisphere researches and verifies all information and conducts data analysis to determine the winners, using its definition of ethical business leadership, which includes its credo, “Good. Smart. Business. Profit.”

Although the key to ethics is putting fairness and positivity before profits, Ethisphere has proof that an investment in ethical practices can prove to be lucrative for businesses. The graph below shows how publically traded World’s Most Ethical Company honorees stack up against the S &P 500:

Overall, US companies dominate the list, but not across all industries. What’s the one category with multiple honorees and no US presence? Banking.

Here’s the full list of US-based companies that made the cut, across all industries. For Ethisphere’s complete global list, click here.

Aerospace: Rockwell Collins Inc., The Aerospace Corporation

Apparel: Gap, Patagonia, Timberland

Auctions: eBay

Automotive: Cummins, Ford Motor Company, Johnson Controls

Business Services: Dun & Bradstreet, Noblis

Chemicals: Ecolab, JM Huber

Computer Hardware: Hitachi Data Systems

Computer Software: Adobe Systems, Microsoft, Salesforce.com, Symantec Corporation, Teradata Corporation

Construction and Engineering: Granite Construction, Parsons Corporation

Consumer Electronics: Xerox

Consumer Products: Colgate-Palmolive Company

Diversified Industries: General Electric Co.

Electronics and Semiconductors: Freescale Semiconductor, Texas Instruments

Energy and Utilities: NextEra Energy, Inc., Wisconsin Energy Corporation

Engineering and Design: AECOM Technology Corporation, CH2M Hill, Fluor Corporation

Environmental Services: Waste Management

Financial Services: American Express, NYSE Euronext, The Hartford Financial Services Group

Food and Beverage: General Mills, PepsiCo, Solae, Stonyfield Farm

Food Stores: Wegmans, Whole Foods Market

Forestry, Paper and Packaging: International Paper

Healthcare Services: Baptist Health South Florida, Hospital Corporation of America, Premier

Hotels, Travel and Hospitality: Kimpton Hotels, Marriot International, Wyndham Worldwide

Industrial Manufacturing: Caterpillar, Deere & Company, Eaton Corporation, Milliken & Company

Insurance: Aflac Incorporated, Wisconsin Physicians Service Insurance Co.

Internet: Zappos

Medical Devices: Becton Dickinson

Real Estate: Jones Lang LaSalle

Restaurants and Cafes: Starbucks Coffee Company

Specialty Pharma: Medicis

Specialty Retail: Best Buy Co., Target, Ten Thousand Villages

Staffing: Manpower

Telecom Hardware: Avaya Inc., Cisco Systems, Juniper Networks

Telecom Services: T-Mobile USA

Transportation and Logistics: UPS