Each year, an organization called EthiSphere produces a list of the most ethical companies in the world over the past year.
The analysis is actually pretty rigorous – bringing in expert advice and insight from “thought leaders” around the world. Ethisphere uses what it calls a “proprietary rating system” called the “Ethics Quotient” or EQ.
The EQ involves utilizing a series of questions that provide a standardized snapshot of any company’s “Ethics Quotient” at any given time.
The process takes five important categories into account during the analysis of any company, including the actual corporate ethics program within the company, the company’s reputation and leadership, the quality of corporate systems to ensure compliance with governing authorities, corporate citizenship and responsibility, and of course the culture of ethics within the company itself.
Having worked for both very unethical companies and very ethical companies myself – such a score is critical for anyone thinking of working for or doing business with any corporate entity out there. Whether it’s a large-scale computer infrastructure support contract or a small-scale contracting company – you want to know that the company you plan to do business with is ethical in everything that they do.
The Most Ethical Companies in 2012
On Top Secret Writers, we often work hard to expose unethical activities conducted by companies. It goes without saying that we've covered the tragic ethical failures of Monsanto, or the attempts by the distributors of Aspartame to repackage and sell the potentially harmful product under the new name AminoSweet.
However, in addition to exposing these companies and warning the public about the potential dangers of doing business with them, we would also like to observe the value in what Ethisphere does. By celebrating the corporations that do things right, it encourages more employees, customers and other businesses to seek out those ethical corporations for even more business.
To prove the point that the "good guys" win in the end, Ethisphere provided an interesting graph showing just how much better the World's Most Ethical Companies performed financially than other companies that make up the overall S&P 500 Index.
In other words, celebrating ethical Corporations can serve dual purposes - to shove unethical companies into the trash bin, and to help improve the financial performance of companies that deserve it. By watching as ethical companies outperform unethical ones - it will encourage more corporate leaders to devote more resources and focus on keeping the company focused on good ethics and treating employees and customers well.
The Most Ethical Companies in the World
So without further ado, we would like to offer Ethisphere's list of the 20 most ethical companies in the world. The following list is in no particular order - companies were marked as the "Most Ethical" and organized into industry. Below, we will highlight well known companies that were winners in each category. It should be noted that only one U.S. bank made the list - Old National Bank.
1. Rockwell Collins - Aerospace
2. Gap and Timberland - Apparel
3. Cummins and Ford - Automotive
4. eBay - E-Commerce
5. National Australia Bank - Banking
6. Accenture - Business Services
7. Hitachi - Computer Hardware
8. Adobe Systems - Computer Software
9. Electrolux - Consumer Electronics
10. Colgate-Palmolive Co. - Consumer Products
11. General Electric (GE) - Diversified Industries
12. Freescale Semiconductor - Electronics
13. Encana - Energy and Utilities
14. American Express - Financial Services
15. Kellogg and PepsiCo - Food and Beverage
16. Holland America Line - Leisure & Hospitality
17. International Paper - Forestry, Paper and Packaging
18. Natura Cosmeticos - Health and Beauty
19. Baptist Health South Florida - Healthcare Services
20. Kesko - Food Stores
21. Deere & Company - Industrial Manufacturing
22. Aflac Inc - Insurance
24. Thomson Reuters - Media
25. Starbucks Coffee Company - Restaurants and Cafes
26. Best Buy - Specialty Retail
27. UPS - Transportation and Logistics
It is also important to note that a few of these categories had several winners, so make sure to check out Ethisphere's list of companies that were the most ethical in 2012, and then make sure to focus your purchasing power toward those companies.
They deserve it.