The World's Most Ethical Companies Revealed

A press release recently crossed my desk announcing that Dow Corning Corp. was recently recognized by the Ethisphere Institute as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies for 2010.

It's not a surprise that Dow Corning is on the list -- after all, Chemical Processing named the company to its list of CP 50 companies. But I was curious, so I logged on to the Ethisphere Institute Web site to learn more. For example, how are the companies picked?

According to the Ethisphere Web site, over the course of the year, companies across the world submitted their applications to become 2010 World's Most Ethical Companies. Based on these applications, as well as information Ethisphere gathered throughout the year, a list of semi-finalists was created. To assist in the scoring methodology, a committee of leading attorneys, professors, government officials and organization leaders lent a hand to Ethisphere.

Semi-finalists were given an in-depth survey to fill out regarding their ethics and compliance program, governance and corporate responsibility.

Ethisphere then conducted data analysis on hundreds of companies based on their responses to the survey, as well as documents and information researched and requested by Ethisphere to confirm survey responses. Every company was then given an EQ score based on the results of the survey and measured against seven distinct categories. These categories were Corporate Citizenship and Responsibility; Corporate Governance; Innovation that Contributes to the Public Well Being; Industry leadership; Executive Leadership and Tone from the Top; Legal, Regulatory and Reputation Track Record; and Internal Systems and Ethics/Compliance Program.

"Dow Corning's promotion of a sound ethical environment shines within its industry and shows a clear understanding that operating under the highest standards for business behavior goes beyond  goodwill and "lip-service" and is intimately linked to performance and profitability," says Alex Brigham, Executive Director of the Ethisphere Institute. "This year's World's Most Ethical Companies award was more competitive than ever, because companies realize that making ethics a priority it critical amidst a tough economic environment."

Other chemical companies that made the grade: Ashland, Ecolab, and Flint Hills Resources.

Do you agree with the Ethisphere Institute? Should your company be considered for this honor?

View the entire list of the World's Most Ethical Companies for 2010.

Traci Purdum,
Senior Digital Editor