Mahatma Gandhi who is considered as Father of the Nation and was an iconic figure had once quipped- “Non-cooperation with the evil is as much a duty as is co-operation with good”. Even Henry Ford had said- “Business that makes nothing but money is a poor kind of business”. Companies that do not adhere to ethical practices become unstable in due course of time. Therefore integrity is very important. Organizations must have a noble legacy in order to touch base with its customers. When the name of a company gets tainted it can shake its very foundation.
When a company is admired for its high level of integrity, honesty and sincerity it earns the support from its employees as well as customers. This trust enhances the productivity of the company to a great extent. Therefore you will find that the leading companies of the world are those which follow its code of ethics to the core. They understand that to get repeat customers or retain the existing ones they need to uphold ethical business practices.
Therefore companies that swears by and conforms to business ethics are a favorite with both employees and customers. Even rival companies like to associate with such companies for business dealings.
Every year a list is prepared by independent bodies containing the names of the top 100 companies which have earned a name for itself by virtue of its business ethics. Here we present the list of top 10 ethical companies in the world. These are the companies which have been preaching about ethical business practices and following the same as well.
1. Adobe Systems
Adobe Systems is world renowned company dealing in software. Its code of ethics is published every year. The company has appointed a compliance officer to ensure compliance of pre-determined company business practices. If there is any issue which may affect the interests of the company the same is immediately notified to the said officer. Adobe Systems has made it mandatory for all its senior executives to foresee compliance of all rules and regulations connected with government dealings. In addition they are also required to submit important papers on time and with honesty.
2. Campbell Soup Company
The Campbell Soup Company has its own code of ethics. Any wrong committed within the perimeters of the company’s jurisdiction are immediately corrected and for this employees are asked to be on the look out for any discrepancy. They are encouraged to report about it so that the same can be rectified. The code of According to Campbell Soup Company, as of 2004, the company encourages staff to speak up whenever they spot anything wrong, in order to correct it. The code of Campbell Soup Company also mentions clearly about advertisements made by the company and respective cells which can be approached by employees to seek help.
3. Ford Motor Company
The code of ethics of Ford Motor Company clearly defines that any action on the part of company directors, any personal benefit derived by an employee or his/her family which can be termed as wrong and third party dealings that can tarnish the image of the company will be considered as against the interests of the company. Under no circumstances senior executives like directors can use personally assets of the company nor can they accept gifts.
4. L’Oreal SA
The cosmetic giant L’Oreal SA has its won unique code of ethics through which it encourages its employees to come up with any issue voluntarily. It is very particular about child labour and has its own set of tools to analyse risk and in addition has policy papers on the subject which are applied to guide the management. Employees are trained up about company code of ethics and they can freely discuss about what kind of environment they expect to discharge their duties efficiently and honestly.
Wegmans works actively towards community development. It believes in giving back to the society and for this purpose it donates substantially to food banks. All donations are entertained through the company website. Moreover, every week it provides a public bus service for senior citizens in Syracuse and Rochester to enable them to purchase grocery.
6. Hewlett-Packard Company
Utmost importance is given to trust by Hewlett-Packard in its code of ethics. The trust of its associates in business as well as consumers means a lot to the company. At the same time employees and customers are urged to inform about concerns that are detrimental to company ethics. Every year, training is conducted by the company to make its employees aware about ethics and how steps can be taken to comply with the same.
7. American Express
The code of ethics of banking major American Express contains guidance for its directors about dealing with situations that may affect company interests like availing opportunities or positions in other entities. Encouragement is given to report about acts or activities that are wrong and unethical.
8. Johns Hopkins
The renowned global medical major Johns Hopkins focuses on leadership and integrity. Patients and professionals from the medical field are given equal respect. Johns Hopkins works relentlessly so that people can get the best health care possible.
9. Wyndham Worldwide
Fair business dealings and high integrity are the salient features of the code of ethics formulated by Wyndham Worldwide. It addresses issues related to monetary benefits of directors and conflict of interest that may arise. It also clearly states how company data and assets should be utilized and gives thrust towards maintenance of confidentiality.
The internet giant Google has its code of ethics clearly embedded with its popular ‘don’t be evil’. Building trust amongst its patrons is one of the thrust areas of the company. Google also follows a non-retaliatory approach while dealing with any employee who complains wrongful conduct. No penalty is awarded by the company to any employee who reports about wrongful conduct against another employee.
During the last decade or so expectations of customers, associates and employees regarding ethical business practices have increased phenomenally. In fact the day-to-day operations of companies are closely scrutinized by people to ascertain whether basic ground rules regarding business ethics are being followed or not. This is an observation made by the International Ethical Business Registry.