Unilever, Toyota, HSBC Top Multinationals' Ethics Ratings

08 January 2008

GENEVA: Swiss-based researcher Covalence on Monday published its third annual ethical reputation listings. These not only rank the highest-rated companies but also those that made the best progress in 2007.

The listings are based on thousands of documents culled during the year from the media, commercial enterprises, non-governmental organisations and other sources.

Twenty multinational companies in ten major business sectors are analyzed. Headline results across these sectors are:

  • EthicalQuote score
    Rio Tinto, Dell and Marks & Spencer enter top ten all-sectors rankings replacing BP, GlaxoSmithKline and Bristol Myers Squibb; Unilever, Toyota and HSBC lead the way

  • Best Reported Performance
    Wal-Mart, Coca-Cola and Toyota

  • Emerging Topics in 2007
    Environmental Impact of Production ...
    Eco Innovative Product ...
    Waste Management ...
    Anticorruption Policy ...

    All rose in perceived order of importance, while the following criteria lost importance: Social Impact, Social Sponsorship, Labour Standards and Human Rights Policy.
Twenty multinational companies are analyzed in ten major sectors; and the ten top-performing companies ranked in each category:
  • Best EthicalQuote Score (positive minus negative news, cumulated from 2002 to 2007),

  • Best Ethical Progress (positive minus negative news, cumulated from January to December 2007),

  • Best Reported Performance (positive news only, cumulated from January to December 2007).
Given that some companies are highly targeted by activists, they have a low EthicalQuote Score, although while at the same time ranking high in terms of Reported Performance.

The report assumes that "ethical demands" (negative news, ie stakeholder issues, campaigns, expectations) stimulate companies' "ethical offers" (positive news, ie initiatives, reporting, communication).

To view the report's key data, click here.

Data sourced from multiple origins; additional content by WARC staff