The Ethisphere Institute has released its annual list of the World's Most Ethical (WME) companies, naming ABB and Rockwell Automation among a record 145 companies from more than three dozen industries.
Compiled since 2007, the list recognises companies that proactively pursue ethical business practices. In selecting honourees, Ethisphere focuses on companies that not only promote ethical business standards and practices internally, but exceed legal compliance minimums and shape future industry standards by introducing best practices.
Factors influencing inclusion on the list include a review of codes of ethics, litigation and regulatory infraction histories; evaluation of investment in innovation and sustainable business practices; consideration of activities designed to improve corporate citizenship; and a study of nominations from senior executives, industry peers, suppliers and customers.
The 2013 list is the largest to date, with Ethisphere reviewing nominations from companies in more than 100 countries and 36 industries from aerospace to wind power. 43 of the WME winners this year are headquartered outside the U.S.
Executive Director of Ethisphere Alex Brigham noted that more companies applied for the recognition this year than any year in the past.
"[This] demonstrates that ethical activity is an important part of many of these companies' business models, but we are also seeing more companies be proactive and create new initiatives that expand ethics programs and cultures across entire industries, such as industry based ethics associations and other activities," he said.
According to ABB General Counsel and Executive Committee member Diane de Saint Victor, being recognised on the list supports the company's view that ethical practices are key to its long term success. She added that the company was pleased with the progress it has made in embedding integrity in its business processes and organisation.
2013 is the fifth year Rockwell Automation has been named on the list. Chairman and CEO Keith D. Nosbusch explained that the company is committed to integrity as a core company value, attributing its continued success as an ethical business to "the decisions employees make every day."
The Ethisphere Institute is a research based international think tank dedicated to the creation, advancement and sharing of best practices in business ethics, corporate social responsibility, anti-corruption and sustainability.