http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/28/the-least-ethical-compani_n_440073.htmlThe 12 Least Ethical Companies In The World: Covalence's Ranking
01-28-10 11:40 AM | Updated: 01-29-10 11:49 AM
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Can ethics be quantified? Or, better yet, can a lack of ethics be quantified?
This week, the Swiss research firm Covalence released its annual ranking of the overall ethical performance of multinational corporations. The idea behind the Covalence research is that there's value -- both for companies and consumers -- in measuring corporations against an ethical standard. (We're hoping this idea also applies to Wall Street firms.)
To complete its ethics index, Covalence compiled both quantitative and qualitative data, spanning seven years, for 581 companies. The data encompass 45 criteria that include labor standards, waste management and human rights records. And because it is a reputation index, the Covalence survey also incorporates media, industry and NGO documents into its evaluation.
Of course, while the index had its winners -- the first-, second-, and third-place companies were IBM, Intel, and HSBC, respectively -- we were more interested in the companies with the lowest ethical ratings. Among those companies with the most awful records are some of the usual suspects in the oil and mining industries but Covalence also found some lesser-known offenders.
Check out a snapshot of the 12 companies with the worst ethical ratings, and some of the things they've done to earn the ranking: (go to the link to see the pictures)
Twelfth worst in the Covalence ranking is Barrick, the Toronto-based gold-mining corporation. The company spent several years attempting to mine the Pascua Lama region along the Argentina-Chile border, but was stalled by concerns about the impact the operation would have on the area's ecosytem. The dispute was resolved only when the company promised to leave the nearby glaciers untouched. A team of the company's engineers and technicians in Los Cacaos, Dominican Republic is pictured.