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NEW YORK — The Ethisphere Institute, an organization committed to defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices, announced its 2015 ranking of the World’s Most Ethical Companies and three names familiar to the convenience store industry appear on the list.
The Hershey Co., Kellogg Co. and PepsiCo Inc. are among only five companies honored in the Food & Beverage category this year.
The World’s Most Ethical (WME) Companies designation recognizes companies that truly go beyond making statements about doing business “ethically” and translate those words into action. The organizations appearing on the annual list have had a material impact on the way business is conducted by fostering a culture of ethics and transparency at every level.
"Hershey is committed to bringing goodness to the world, whether it's our iconic products or how we operate our business," said J.P. Bilbrey, president and CEO of Pennsylvania-based Hershey, which was named to Ethisphere's list for the first time this year. "Our longtime values are rooted in the belief that we can do well by doing good in society."
Hershey's responsible practices include initiatives to advance environmental sustainability and ethical sourcing, and the CocoaLink technology program for West African cocoa farmers.
Battle Creek, Mich.-based Kellogg has appeared in the ranking seven times since 2007, when the first list was published. In the past year, Kellogg revealed new global sustainability goals in responsible sourcing and the conservation of natural resources, and continued working toward its hunger relief pledge to donate 1 billion servings of food through the Breakfasts for Better Days program.
"Building on our legacy of integrity, we wanted to ensure our Global Code of Ethics incorporated all of our 'K Values,' which include integrity, respect, accountability, passion, humility, simplicity and driving results," noted Jim Sholl, vice president of internal audit and compliance at Kellogg. "In addition to recognizing our corporate ethics and governance, we're especially proud that this year’s Ethisphere honor reaffirms our commitment to social and environmental stewardship and our philanthropic efforts."
Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo, which marked its ninth straight appearance on the list, tweeted congratulations to its fellow honorees, declaring itself “in good company.” The company maintains a Global Code of Conduct for its employees, and its corporate standards cover areas of corporate governance, human sustainability, environmental sustainability and talent sustainability.
The World's Most Ethical Company assessment is based upon Ethisphere’s Ethics Quotient (EQ) framework, which assesses an organization's performance in an objective, consistent and standardized way. Scores are given in five key categories: ethics and compliance program (35 percent), corporate citizenship and responsibility (20 percent), culture of ethics (20 percent), governance (15 percent), and leadership, innovation and reputation (10 percent).
The complete list of the 2015 World’s Most Ethical Companies is available here.