List details world’s ‘most ethical’ companies; 15 retailers make cut

Austin, Texas -- Target Corp., Costco Wholesale Corp., Safeway, Gap Inc. and Whole Foods Market are among 15 retailers recognized on the Ethisphere Institute's 2012 "World's Most Ethical Companies" list. The other retailers honored were Starbucks Coffee Co., Patagonia, Wegmans, Marks and Spencer, Best Buy, eBay, Timberland, Office Max, Petco, and Ten Thousand Villages.

Ethisphere evaluates hundreds of companies, naming only those that surpass their industry peers to the "World's Most Ethical Companies" (WME) list. The 2012 list features 145 companies in more than three dozen industries that show leadership in promoting ethical business standards., including 40 companies headquartered outside the United States. There have been 23 companies that have been honored each of the six years the WME has been awarded, including Aflac, American Express, General Electric, Patagonia, Starbucks, among others.

The methodology for the WME ranking includes reviewing codes of ethics, litigation and regulatory infraction histories, evaluating the investment in innovation and sustainable business practices, looking at activities designed to improve corporate citizenship, and studying nominations from senior executives, industry peers, suppliers and customers.

Click here www.ethisphere.com/wme to view the complete list of the 2012 World’s Most Ethical Companies, past lists, and to read the methodology behind it.