‘World’s Most Ethical Companies’ List Released

Fashion industry companies — including Gap Inc., Patagonia, Costco, Target Corp. and eBay — were among the 145 named on The Ethisphere Institute’s annual list.

A rendering of Target Chicago.

MOST ETHICAL: Several fashion industry firms were among the 145 named to The Ethisphere Institute’s “World’s Most Ethical Companies” sixth annual list. They included retailers Gap Inc., Patagonia, Costco, Marks & Spencer and Target Corp.; cosmetics companies L’Oréal and Shiseido Co.; textile firm Milliken & Co.; apparel brand Timberland, and eBay Inc. The firms were chosen for promoting ethical business standards and practices by exceeding legal minimums for compliance, introducing innovative ideas that benefit the public and forcing their competitors to follow suit.

“This year’s winners know that a strong ethics program is a key component to a successful business model, and they continue to scrutinize their ethical standards to keep up with an ever-changing regulatory environment,” said Alex Brigham, executive director of Ethisphere, said at Thursday night’s reception announcing the winners. “Corporate ethics has become much more important globally and that is reflected in the truly global nature of this year’s honorees.”

This story first appeared in the March 20, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The Ethisphere Institute is a think tank dedicated to the creation, advancement and sharing of best practices in business ethics, corporate social responsibility, anticorruption and sustainability.

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