The research-based Ethisphere Institute, an international think-tank working to advance best practices in business ethics, CSR, and sustainability recently released its rankings of the World’s Most Ethical Companies. Ethisphere provides third-party verifications of compliance and ethical cultures programs by companies. That puts it in a unique position to give an insiders perspective on corporate behavior.
Adidas, who helped get the Sustainable Apparel Coalition off the ground, was somewhat of a surprise disappearance from the Most Ethical Companies List this year. Patagonia, one of the other originators of the Coalition, remained on the list for the sixth consecutive year, as well as General Electric and Starbucks. Gap, Timberland and Israel-based Comme Il Faut were named to the list along with Patagonia in the Apparel industry.
Adidas and several other apparel makers were the target of GreenPeace campaigns raising awareness of toxic inputs in the company’s supply chains. Adidas committed to eliminating these hazardous inputs by 2020, but the revelation was enough to remove Adidas from the Ethisphere list.
Nike and Puma, both also targeted by Greenpeace’s campaign, were not on the list either, despite Puma’s positive response to working with Greenpeace to achieve a mutually beneficial result, and its announcement that it will make compostable clothing.
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