Top Ethical Companies in the world – Not a Single Indian !


In this era of hyper-competition and result-oriented nature of businesses, it is difficult to run huge empires on ethical grounds and standards. Ethics refers to the study and process of human conduct, as a part of the society or an institution, in the light of moral principles.

The Ethisphere Institute released on March 25, 2010, its fourth annual list of the World’s Most Ethical Companies for 2010. Through in-depth research and analysis as many as 3000 companies from 100 countries were nominated for considering inclusion into the list of winners for the coveted award of the World’s Most Ethical Companies.


The institute recognizes companies that truly goes beyond making statements about doing business ‘ethically’ and translate those words into action. Of these companies, 26 are new to the list in 2010, while there are 24 companies which have been dropped off from the 2009 list due to ethical violations.

Here is a Bummer, not a Single India company features in this list of most Ethical companies in the world. do you think Satyam’s fiasco has anything to do with this :)

Solae, LLC, a world leader in soy-based ingredients within the food and nutritional industry, has been recognized as one of the world’s most ethical companies for implementing upright business practices and initiatives in harmony with company and social objectives.

Some of the other companies from the food industry which bagged this recognizable award are PepsiCo, Campbell Soup Company and General Mills.

The Ethisphere Institute has reviewed nominations for companies ranging over 36 different industries from Apparel, Banking and Chemicals to Construction and Engineering, Consumer Products, Healthcare and Real Estate.

Here is the list of Most Ethical Companies in the world !


  • Harris Corporation
  • Rockwell Collins Inc.
  • The Aerospace Corporation

  • Comme Il Faut
  • Nike
  • Patagonia

  • Barrett Jackson Auction Company

  • Cummins
  • Ford Motor Company
  • Johnson Controls

  • Rabobank
  • Standard Chartered Bank
  • Westpac Banking Corporation
Business Services

  • Accenture
  • Noblis
  • Pitney Bowes
  • Dun & Bradstreet
  • Paychex

  • Ashland
  • Dow Corning Corporation
  • Ecolab
  • Flint Hills Resources
Computer Hardware

  • Hewlett-Packard Company
Computer Software

  • Adobe Systems
  • Symantec
  • Teradata
Construction and Engineering

  • CH2M Hill
  • CRH
  • Fluor
  • Granite Construction
  • Parsons
Consumer Electronics

  • Ricoh
  • Xerox
Consumer Products

  • Henkel
  • Kao
  • Mattel
Diversified Industries

  • General Electric Co.
Electronics and Semiconductors

  • Freescale Semiconductor
  • Texas Instruments
Energy and Utilities

  • Duke Energy
  • FPL Group
  • National Grid
  • Sempra Energy
  • Wisconsin Energy Corporation
Environmental Services

  • Waste Management
Financial Services

  • American Express
  • The Hartford
  • The Principal Financial Group
Food and Beverage

  • Campbell Soup Company
  • General Mills
  • PepsiCo
  • Solae
Food Service



Food Stores

Trader Joe’s


Whole Foods Market

Forestry, Paper and Packaging

  • International Paper
  • Stora Enso Oyj
  • Svenska Cellulosa
  • Weyerhaeuser

  • Cleveland Clinic
  • Hospital Corporation of America
  • J M Smith Corporation
  • Johns Hopkins
  • Premier
Hotels, Travel & Hospitality

  • Rezidor Hotel Group
  • Wyndham Worldwide
Industrial Manufacturing

  • Caterpillar
  • Deere & Company
  • Eaton
  • Milliken and Company
  • Rockwell Automation
  • Timken

  • Aflac
  • Swiss Re
  • Wisconsin Physicians Service

  • Google
  • Zappos
Media, Publishing and Entertainment

Thomson Reuters

Time Warner

Medical Devices

Becton, Dickinson and Company

Royal Philips



Novo Nordisk

Real Estate

Jones Lang LaSalle

Restaurants and Cafes

  • Starbucks Coffee Company
Specialty Retail

  • Best Buy
  • Gap
  • IKEA
  • Target
  • Ten Thousand Villages
Telecom Hardware

  • Avaya
  • Cisco Systems
Telecom Services

  • T-Mobile
  • Vodafone Group
Transportation and Logistics

  • Nippon Yusen Kabushi Kaisha
  • UPS

Aha, nice to see “Do no Evil” Google in the list of most ethical companies !

From India perspective there is nothing to cheer about except the fact that among the list of companies featuring in world’s most ethical companies, PepsiCo and Adobe Systems are headed by Indra Nooyi and Shantanu Narayen respectively, both of which are from Indian origin as their chief executives.

According to you which Indian company do you think deserves to be on this list?

  1. Pranjal Chopda says

    bakvas post

  2. Pranjal Chopda says

    bakvas post

  3. GANESH says

    As my friend mentioned about tata, they value the ethical spirit, and related to singur land it was politically motivated by the politicians, how come without the government knowledge will provide a place for development. after the singur issue, gujarat govt had given land, how come? it is also a land acquired from people through mutual agreement. for instance if u sell a land for 1 lakh before one year, next year maybe it is 3 or 4 lakhs, then u feel like u r been cheated, hence that is truly false… tata has their integrity and value of their principles, hence they would have bought an ipl team like reliance as it is individual decision…..just my suggestions……

  4. Textiles Infomediary is software Company using its profit to provide self employment to Specially Able person. When the moto is high like sky ethical behavior with employee come in a noble way.

  5. jimit says

    well…its shown in the report that not a single company deserve to add name in the most promiting or ethical company in the world but that is true company like tata,wipro,mahendra & mahendra are there in india …who do their best in ethical manner but, it is era of marketing so if they are really doing well it is neccessary for them to do marketing of their performance not only via pelf but also via ethical behaviour globally & a company as aforementioned have no need to do marketing because a ethisphere institute who released this report have not entered the name ….does same work ETHICALLY ??????

  6. Ravi says

    Then how would you justify whether there is any ethos still persist in Indian Company?

    I have consider only one thing that, profiting is a major moto of not only individual but also of any company. They would like to have a return over there risk taken to run a shop, business or company.

    Problem arises when PROFITEERING becomes the only moto for them. Each and every company follows not only ethical practice but also some unethical practices. You can say it is the demand for the time in order to survive in the competitive market.

    What according to me determines the ethicity of any organisation is its, way or approach or over-coming of unethical practices through ethical deeds.

    I am not an expert in this field but would like to give an Hypothethical Example:
    Example: A company may use unethical or bribe to gain a contact, however, after gaining the contact and earning the profit, if he is able to perform his social responsibility. Then I would consider this company as ethical.

    Also the ethical part cannot be rigid in term of individual. If the company is ethical but may be a person who is taking the decision for the time been is unethical, this would again bring down the name of the company. As company has never used an unethical technique in its lifetime.

    So, please help me to answer this big question of ETHICS.
    I would be glad if you can provide me with companies name (ethical or unethical) with proper examples. Stating why the company is ethical or unethical?

    My e-mail address is [email protected] and [email protected]

  7. apu says

    A quick look at the methodology section on their website reveals that companies have to “participate”, i.e. enter the contest for them to be ranked. In other words, this is not an objective ranking of companies around the world based on certain criteria. Most Indian cos. would simply not have entered themselves. I don’t know what that says about their PR but it certainly doesn’t say anything about their ethics or lack of it.

    1. Rohan says

      How come not a single Indian company has “participated” in it? It is for sure that invitations to participate were also sent out to Indian companies, but Indian companies turned down the invite and chose not to participate.

      So why did the Indian companies chose not to participate? These companies are otherwise vying for being the “First in something XYZ” like ‘First to produce 1 mn units a year’. The leading executives of this companies are always there on the first page of Economic Times explaining their “visionary” outlook and what not. So why are they hiding now? There visionary CEOs were always there even when business was actually slowing down during 2007-2008. So where are the ethics? These CEO’s are always positive about future no matter how much loss is reported.

      They are hiding because if they choose to participate, the surveyor will do a lot of background check with its auditors, suppliers, vendors, business partners, etc. These companies knowing that they cannot come clean on it have obviously “turned down” the invitation to participate.

      I have already cited the Tata unethical aspect in Singur land. An ethical move would be giving up the land on the basis that not every person had given the land willfully. If it was not for the protests and political pressure, “Ratan Tata & Co.” would have happily operated their factories their and bloggers would have poured their praises over Tata’s vision, business acumen and what not.

      If this is not enough, there was one well-published case of corporate espionage(spying) by Reliance management employee by bribing a VSNL employee. This is only one of the incidence that has come to light. Many skeletons would roll out if there is an appropriate trigger. India’s largest company is showed unethical behaviour on so many times. Didn’t they manipulate the share price of L&T few years back?

      After all this, it is even likely that the surveyor chose to complete ignore Indian companies and kicked them out.

      Why are we so miffed because there is not a single Indian company? While being rational in other issues, why have we forgotten to take this rationally.

  8. Rohan says

    Why are some of the people here so miffed because there is not a single Indian company here?

    And those who are bragging about Tata or any XYZ Indian firm being left out from ethical list, can they tell me why Tata or XYZ should have had a place here?

    Is that because you have often read visionary, inspiring quotes from Ratan Tata or JRD Tata in your daily newspaper?

    Cmon, tell me frankly, how closely do you know these companies. I am not asking about your customer service feedback of tata indicom or tata docomo. I am asking in a business sense.

    Remember the Singur land fiasco? Tata did surrender that land, but they surrendered because the protests and politics made it impossible to run the factory there. If they were as ethical to appear in this list, then they should have surrendered the land on the basis it was forcefully acquired from some of the unwilling farmers. It is then that it would have been ethical.

    Just because theres a Tata sitting at the top of it does mean its ethical.

    Again, please don’t base your experience on your customer service experience of tata sky or etc.

    Newspapers and magazines have a stubborn habit of quoting only great lines, using only great photos of industrialists where they are posing in some great style. Don’t be fooled by these. Money is not minted by writing great lines in newspapers.

    Same goes for many others companies that are today part of India’s NIFTY 50 and SENSEX 30. These are temples of money.

  9. Gopinath Mavinkurve says

    Firstly, i believe that ratings for ethical business or best employer awards or welfare measures are yet to evolve, in that their methodologies are not yet proven. To give an anology, one wonders how the Fairplay ratings in IPL are being displayed on the screen? Secondly, i suspect how many Indian companies even entered this competition – and also where did they stand if they did contest but did not figure in the top firms? Thirdly, when talking about business ethics, a 360 degree feedback from vendors, customers and employees, bankers and government is needed. How good is a feedback about my character if it is not assessed based on feedback from others dealing with me? Fourthly, there is a domination of US companies in this list, which raises the question about the composition of the judges on the bench. Everyone knows how the Indian banks did business against US Multinational banks in the recent meltdown. SBI ought to have figured. Tatas ought to have figured. Wonder whether they applied and where do they stand?

  10. Altaf Rahman says

    Though I too suspect the criteria followed by the agency in defining ‘most ethical’, when I started reading this article, I was hoping to see some justification in leaving Tatas name. But could not find any. As Mr. Viral says, the agency has set some perameters to give points to each company. Also may be due to recent adverse news about Tatas in Kerala regarding deforestation to construct buildings in forests may have effected their chances.
    But in principle, I am against any cola companies. They have no business at all to be existing in the first place (from environmetal and health point of view). All the cola companies are consuming precious sugar for their business which forces farmers to grow cane in additional acrage for regular usage (this acrage is converted from forests and this cane growing is consuming lots of water) and the health problems all cola drinks causes (which is a debatable issue but fittingly barred from selling in schools and collages). The above two points alone make them unethical. May be they are contributing a certain % of their income for charity but that does not make them ethical. Its like a thief stealing 100 bucks from ppl and donating 10 bucks to be called a kind hearted man.

  11. Vishal Sanjay says

    I’m not really impressed with this list as their are many famous companies whose ethical behaviors are pretty popular. And when Indian companies are concerned, I don’t think they even paid them any attention. Companies like the TaTa Group and the Sahara Group are world famous for their contributions to charity and ethical values.

    I’ve haven’t heard a single word about the good deeds and ethics of almost all of the companies above. I’ve got plenty of mails on the ethics and values maintained by General Electrics and they are no where to be seen. Companies like Time Warner has laid – off thousands of people without public announcements, so its pretty shocking to see them on this list. PepsiCo was accused of price fixing, bribing and falsifying laboratory tests in 2008.

    All this list has is the world business leaders in their particular markets, it contains nothing more than that.

    1. Viral says

      Hello Vishal Sanjay,

      Your point is reasonably true and well-taken, in that the data could be questionable in terms of certain company’s way of followign ethics. It could also be debatable regarding the companies which have been left out and not included in the list.

      They do have a set of procedures and methodologies in determining the companies to be included in the study and research. That apart, they also had a well-diversified group of jury who have contributed in the final analysis of the outcome.

      We (in India) do have some of the most coveted names in terms of ethics, but they seem to have been given a cold shoulder. From my side, companies from India with good ethics are Infosys and Bharti Airtel among many other companies.

      Anyways, its a part of an international research and they have their own set of rules and methodologies for analysing the data. Lack of mention of Indian companies does not render them unethical in any ways.

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