Ten firms from the fashion realm were among 131 organizations from 21 countries named to the 2016 World’s Most Ethical Companies list on Monday by the Ethisphere Institute.
Sourcing company William E. Connor & Associates of Hong Kong and textile mill Milliken & Co. of Spartanburg, S.C., were named in the manufacturing sector, while Levi Strauss & Co. was tapped as the lone apparel brand.
Retailers included H&M of Sweden, the U.K.’s Marks & Spencer and the U.S.’s Target Corp., while France’s L’Oréal, Natura Cosmetics of Brazil, Japan’s Kao Corp. and Germany’s Henkel were named in the Health & Beauty field.
The Ethisphere Institute, dedicated to defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices, has created the most-ethical list since 2007.
“In each of the last 10 years, the Ethisphere Institute has measured companies who demonstrate leadership in areas like citizenship, integrity and transparency as the World’s Most Ethical Companies,” said Ethisphere chief executive officer Timothy Erblich.
William E. (Chip) Connor, chairman and ceo of William E. Connor, said, “Sixty-seven years ago, our founder articulated a clear and uncomplicated code of conduct: We will represent only one interest, that of our principal, and will do so transparently, ethically and to the very best of our ability. This code remains the cornerstone of our culture today. Being awarded this honor by Ethisphere doesn’t mean we don’t ever encounter issues. It means we won’t tolerate them and that we work tirelessly toward a future of ethical sourcing and manufacturing.”
Connor said the company secured a spot on the list for the fifth straight year by employing and maintaining upright business practices and initiatives that are instrumental to the company’s success.
Milliken noted that it’s one of just 14 companies to receive this honor every year since Ethisphere’s inception.
“The landscape of corporate ethics is changing, driven by an increasing desire for transparent relationships with companies in the industries and local communities in which they operate,” shared Joe Salley, Milliken & Co. president and ceo. “Strong ethical values and a passion for meaningful innovation unite all Milliken associates worldwide.”
The World’s Most Ethical Company assessment is based upon the Ethisphere Institute’s Ethics Quotient framework developed over years of research and vetted and refined by the expert advice from its Methodology Advosory Panel. The EQ offers a quantitative way to assess a company’s performance in an objective, consistent and standardized way. Scores are generated in five key categories: ethics and compliance program, corporate citizenship and responsibility, culture of ethics, governance and leadership, and innovation and reputation.