The world’s most ethical businesses

The Ethisphere Institute, New York City think tank, has just announced its fifth annual list of the World’s Most Ethical Companies whittling down 3000 nominations to 110 organisations. Ethisphere reviewed record high number of nominations (including self nominations) from companies in more than 100 countries and 36 industries, which Forbes Magazine says demonstrates companies’ desire to be acknowledged for high ethical standards.

The 2011 list, which is not ranked, is the largest since the award’s inception in 2007, with 30 newcomers including adidas, eBay, Microsoft and Colgate-Palmolive. Thirty-one companies from last year disappeared, generally because of litigation or ethics violations, as well as increased competition from within their industries. Only two Australasian companies made the cut, both Aussie-owned banks: ANZ and Westpac.

“This year we had more nominations for companies based outside of the United States than ever before,” says Alex Brigham, executive director of the Ethisphere Institute. “We also had more foreign-based companies recognised than ever before. This is positive sign to us, as it indicates that ethics is becoming serious issue around the world, and foreign companies are more frequently developing best-in-class ethics and compliance programmes than in prior years.”

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