Record Number of Non-U.S. Firms Make World’s Most Ethical List

A record number of companies based outside the U.S., including H&M, Marks & Spencer, L’OREAL and 35 others from 21 countries and five continents, have made Ethisphere’s 2014 World’s Most Ethical Companies list released late last month.

The list honors a total of 144 organizations representing 41 industries such as automotive, apparel, consumer products and electronics, among others.

Other companies named to the list include GE, Microsoft, eBay, Mattel, Visa, Pepsi, International Paper, Johnson Controls, 3M, Marriott, Safeway and UPS. Notably, Starbucks and Gap, Inc. made the list for the eighth consecutive year.

Ethisphere says the “The World’s Most Ethical Company” designation recognizes companies that go beyond making statements about doing business ethically and translate those words into action. These companies not only promote ethical business standards and practices internally, but also embed the theory of “conscious capitalism” into everything they do, every employee they hire and every partner they bring into their network to ensure they deliver long-term value to key stakeholders including customers, suppliers, regulators and investors.

To determine honorees, Ethisphere says it uses its Ethics Quotient framework, developed over several years to assess an organization’s performance in an objective, consistent and standardized way. Rather than measuring all aspects of corporate governance, risk, sustainability, compliance and ethics, Ethisphere collects a comprehensive sampling of definitive data in core competencies. Scores are generated in five key categories: ethics and compliance program (25 percent); reputation, leadership and innovation (20 percent); governance (10 percent); corporate citizenship and responsibility (25 percent); and culture of ethics (20 percent).

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