For a group of Americans whose spending adds up to more than $1 trillion, buying is more than just a transaction. Every purchase is a chance for Millennials and Generation Z to make a difference.
Most of the time, these young people support companies that do business honestly and ethically, use sustainable materials, and are aware of how they affect society.
Some companies have seen that business ethics are rewarding and have much more to offer.
Let’s look at some of the ethical companies in the world.
What Is An Ethical Company
A company is ethical if it doesn’t hurt the environment, take advantage of its workers by paying them low wages or using child labor, or make harmful or dangerous products.
They are conscious of how their actions, products, and services affect people, animals, and the environment.
30 Most Ethical Companies
Below are the 30 most ethical companies in the world.
1. Aflac Incorporated
Aflac is the largest company in the US that provides supplemental insurance. It is the only insurance company to be honored by Ethisphere for 16 years.
According to a report from the Sustainability Bond in 2021, one year after issuing its first sustainability bond, the company has given $252 million to Framework categories like Communities, Green Buildings, Renewable Energy, and Socioeconomic Advancement and Empowerment.
Aflac’s fair employment policy starts at the top, as 64% of its board members are women or members of ethnic minorities.
Ecolab is the leader in the world when it comes to services and solutions for water, hygiene, and preventing infections.
Due to its data-driven insights and top-notch service, Ecolab is a partner in more than 40 industries, from restaurants and hotels to power plants and factories.
They use digital technology to develop customized solutions that have the least effect on people and the environment.
Ecolab solutions helped their partners around the world in 2019 to:
i. Save 206 billion gallons of water.
ii. Prevent more than 7.5 million illnesses caused by food annually.
iii. Prevent 1.5 million metric tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.
3. International Paper
International Paper (IP) is one of the biggest companies that make products from fibers. Their “IP Way Forward” is a list of ethical and environmentally friendly things they do.
They focus on preventing deforestation, people or human capital development and get 100% of their fiber from sustainably managed forests by 2030.
In 2020, the company was applauded for achieving a 26% reduction in waste in landfills.
4. Kao Corporation
Since the company started in 1887, Kao has always put the needs of its customers first. This is shown in their Kirei environmental, society, and government strategy.
Kirei means to live a life that is beautiful inside and out. It is based on three rules:
i. Making each day more beautiful.
ii. Making choices that are good for society.
iii. Making the world safer and healthier.
They use leftover material from edible palm oil to produce Bio IOS, a surfactant that can be used in cleaning products and is good for the environment.
Kao Corporation is always making new products that encourage people to use refill packs and concentrated products. This is part of an effort to ensure there’s no waste.
5. Milliken & Company
Milliken is another company that regularly makes the list of the most ethical businesses in the world.
Even though their products are meant to make the world healthier and better, their ethical work goes far beyond their chemicals and textiles.
Being proud of its environmental responsibility has made it come up with some big goals for 2025, such as:
i. Reduce greenhouse emissions, water use, and solid waste by 25%.
ii. No trash ends up in landfills.
iii. Use renewable energy ten times more.
PepsiCo is one of the most ethical companies in the world. They are in charge of a large portfolio of drinks and foods. Sustainability is at the heart of PepsiCo’s plans for growth.
PepsiCo uses sustainable farming methods, such as cover crops, to help store carbon and improve the soil.
They aim to use less water and put back more than 100% of the water used at company-owned sites into the local watershed.
Sustainability also applies to how they package their products, as the company helps to improve recycling infrastructure.
This multinational company is the world leader in services ranging from artificial intelligence and automation to infrastructure and sustainability.
Accenture helps its partners to be more sustainable by making buildings, transportation, and green energy systems more energy efficient.
Cummins is a world leader when it comes to being ethical. Since 2014, Cummins products have reduced more than 21,7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide.
The company has also reached a record recycling rate of 93% and reduced its water usage by 20%.
If you want to work for a company with a good reputation, Cummins is a good choice.
9. Deere & Company
John Deere strives for occupational safety by closely monitoring lead indicators, reducing risks, and using health and safety management systems.
The company reduced CO2 emissions on its products by 90%. They use more materials that are eco-friendly and recycle 85% of all waste. They also have more women and people of color in management positions.
JLL is a leading real estate company in the world. Through its sustainability program, JLL is helping its clients to create safe and healthy places to live and work that are good for productivity, health, and the environment.
The company also offers a fair and inclusive workplace that gives everyone equal opportunity.
11. Johnson Controls
Johnson Controls uses a variety of systems and digital tools to make homes and offices safer, more comfortable, more efficient, and more sustainable.
Johnson Controls’ journey toward sustainability began in 1885 when they made the first electric thermostat. Since then, they are always striving to improve their environmental efforts.
The company reduced its energy use by 5.5% and greenhouse gas emissions by 26.1% in three years.
Johnson Controls offers their clients building optimization solutions that save energy and reduce CO2 emissions.
12. Premier, Inc.
Premier knows how important environmental and social practices are and has made them part of its business goals.
Premier works with more than 4,400 hospitals and 225,000 providers to improve the way care is given in the healthcare industry.
These projects are achieved with a workforce from different generations, ethnicities, genders, races, sexual orientations, cultures, and life experiences.
13. Kellogg Co.
Kellogg Co is a great example for others who want to make the list of the world’s most ethical companies.
The King of Cereal has been conducting their businesses sustainably and ethically for a long time.
Their first box of Corn Flakes came out in 1906 and was made of 100% paperboard. Today, they carry on this tradition by trying to get 100% of their packaging reusable, recyclable, or compostable.
They teach farmers and workers worldwide new skills and give them technical help. The goal is to help them get more out of their land, protect species and habitats, and improve their lives.
14. Paychex, Inc.
Paychex, Inc. is one of the top companies offering integrated payroll, human resources, and insurance solutions.
Their “Putting Good to Work” policy includes giving back to the community and making the workplace and community better.
In 2021, ethics and compliance training for the employees took up 9,087 hours of employee time, and 99.2% of employees finished a multi-media course on ethical behavior. In the same year, the company recycled 13,850 pieces of electronics.
15. Rockwell Automation
Rockwell Automation makes the list of the most ethical companies because it helps others make the world more productive and sustainable.
The company has made $1.8 billion in sales from energy-saving products. It has a high safety standard in the workplace. This translates to making workplace-related injury very low at the rate of 0.27 out of every 100 workers.
Starbucks is a well-known name for a coffeehouse because it serves millions of coffee lovers weekly.
Starbucks buys about 3% of the world’s coffee beans and ensures that 99% are sourced ethically. One of their goals for 2030 is to switch from single-use to reusable packaging.
L’Oréal thinks that the search for beauty is more than just looking good.
This is why they created a program called “L’Oréal for the Future” that shows how they think a company should deal with environmental changes.
For over 20 years, the company has tried to reduce its CO2 footprint. And by 2025, all sites will be free of carbon emissions.
They intend to replace all single-use packages with options that can be refilled, reused or recycled.
This company believes that sustainable employment will change the world. From temporary and permanent staffing to talent management and outsourcing, ManPower Group helps its clients deal with the complex challenges of the modern workforce.
ManpowerGroup reduces greenhouse gas emissions. And during the pandemic, they used their knowledge, technology, and partnerships to help workers return to work safely.
19. Parsons Corporation
Parsons Corporation sees people as its most valuable asset. To do this, the company has a strong inclusion and diversity program focusing on veterans and service members.
One of the company’s core values is sustainability, so it uses best practices to reduce its carbon footprint.
They work with property owners in leased office spaces to install new lighting and HVAC systems that use less energy. Also, to reduce pollution from transportation, Parsons lets its employees work from home, either part-time or full-time.
Salesforce is the world’s number one customer relationship management (CRM) platform. It helps sales, marketing, and IT teams work together from anywhere.
In line with its cloud-based philosophy, Salesforce has zero emissions across its entire value chain and 100% renewable energy.
As a founding partner of 1t.org, the company is committed to planting 1 trillion trees and protecting the ocean.
21. Teradata Corporation
Teradata is a multi-cloud data platform company. The company wants to help solve global environmental problems by joining initiatives to make businesses more sustainable, focusing on energy, carbon emissions, waste, and water.
The company uses video conferencing, virtual employment, and recycling in its operations to have less impact on the environment.
22. The Hartford
Hartford is committed to sustainability. It has been at the heart of their business for more than 200 years. In times of disaster, they are ready to provide a lasting solution.
The company made investments worth $2.5 billion that will positively impact clean energy and the climate over the next five years.
23. Weyerhaeuser Company
Weyerhaeuser takes care of forests. It works with environmental, recreation, and wildlife groups to ensure conservation transactions occur.
They do this because they know that land and habitats have special value to people who live in nearby communities. They also let reputable companies use their land to find, plan, and build wind and solar projects.
WM is more than just a waste management company. It helps people and businesses reach their sustainability goals.
The company is working on climate change and social inequality on different levels. Its main goal is to get the most value out of its resources while having the least environmental impact.
Compressed natural gas (CNG) powers their garbage trucks as they move around to pick up trash for recycling.
Patagonia is popular among outdoor enthusiasts. It has always been a strong supporter of grassroots environmental activism.
Patagonia gives 1% of every purchase to groups worldwide to protect the environment.
They are also a founding member of the Fair Labor Association and make all its products with either new or recycled materials.
Located in London, UK, Boden deals in women’s, men’s, and children’s clothes and accessories. They are known for sourcing cotton sustainably, having an ethical supply chain, engaging in fair-trade clothing, and donating to good causes in all of its factories around the world.
27. Allianz Group
Allianz engages in ethical considerations such as clean energy, a low-carbon economy, and human rights.
They help consumers with low incomes in Asia, Africa, and South America by sticking to high ethical standards. This closes the gap for people who need low-cost financial services.
Since 2012, the company has achieved 100% carbon neutrality. They also get more than 49% of its electricity from renewable sources, and its goal is to get to 100% by 2023.
Wipro is one of the biggest companies in the world when it comes to IT, consulting, and business. It has been on the list of the most ethical companies in the world for ten years in a row.
They ensure that employees are at ease in the workplace and contribute to developing a workplace culture that emphasizes connections.
The company’s specialties include hardware, software, and consultancy. Their ethical considerations include renewable energy, gender equality and responsible production.
IBM was one of the first companies to join the Energy Star program run by the EPA. They expect their first-tier suppliers to devise ways for waste disposal, energy, and greenhouse gas emissions and share the findings with the public.
30. Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company
Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, also known as 3M, is an ethical company recognized for its long-term commitment to conducting businesses ethically.
The 3M Code of Conduct gives the company an ethical reputation. The management strives to make the workplace an environment where compliance with business ethics is encouraged.
Ethical companies differ from green or eco-friendly companies in that their sustainability statement talks about social responsibility, such as fair wages, a clear supply chain, and good working conditions. From all indications, these companies are ethically responsible for conducting their business worldwide.
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