Ethisphere Magazine has compiled an interesting list of what it applauds as the "World's Most Ethical Companies," recognizing ethical leadership and business practices worldwide. Ninety two-companies made the cut. Among them are: American Express, Berkshire Hathaway, General Electric, H & M, HSBC, IKEA, Mariott, McDonaldÂ´s, Milliken, Nike, Patagonia, PepsiCo, Starbucks, Target, Toyota, and Whole Foods Market.
The list is controversial—to put it lightly. Take McDonaldÂ´s. On its web site, Ethisphere notes, "Some may ask, "How can McDonald's be on the list?" The answer is that the food service industry is the largest industry in the world—and McDonald's has clearly stood apart in introducing healthier food fare, sustainable packaging, food safety, and ethical purchasing practices."
The list is also notable for what is not on it: Carpet manufacturer Interface is missing, for example. Each company was researched by editors over a six-month review period, which included examining codes of ethics, litigation and regulatory infraction histories; evaluating investment in innovation and sustainable business practices; looking at companies' activities to improve corporate citizenship; studying nominations from senior executives, industry peers, suppliers and customers; and working with consumer action groups for feedback and rating. ::Ethisphere Magazine