Bonus gem

More fear and loathing in the CSR rankings game. Today we have the pleasure of examining the annual Ethisphere 'World's Most Ethical Companies' scheme. I'll allow Ethisphere to introduce their ranking:

"A number of companies out there think that a good CSR program consists only of a soapbox and a bullhorn...The World’s Most Ethical Companies are the ones that go above and beyond legal minimums, bring about innovative new ideas to expand the public well being, work on reducing their carbon footprint rather than contributing to green washing and won’t be found next to the words “Billion Dollar Fine” in newspaper headlines any time in the near future."

Without further ado, a few highlights from this monument to all things corporate and ethical in 2009:

-Mattel (yes, really)
-Duke Energy
-Sempra Energy
-International Paper (wait--really? yes.)
-Caterpillar (they make 'diggers')
-John Deere (they also make 'diggers')

And if you want a more in-depth description of what, say, Caterpillar does to earn a place on this magical ranking, here it is, straight from the computer of Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer, Ed Scott:

“Our leaders work to ensure that Our Values in Action [Caterpillar’s Code of Conduct] are part of everyday life at Caterpillar,” says Scott. “They take various opportunities to incorporate Our Values in Action into their communications. In turn, Caterpillar employees are expected to know and live by Our Values in Action.”

Before we conclude this bonus gem, let's take a step back and look at what underpins all the work of Ethisphere:

"Ethisphere uniquely recognizes that even companies with less than perfect historical corporate citizenship operating records need to have their successes celebrated along the way if they decide to conscientiously improve their ethics, compliance and community practices."

BP, anyone?

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