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The Ethisphere Institute is out with its annual list of the world’s most ethical companies, “chosen for promoting ethical business standards and practices by exceeding legal minimums for compliance, introducing innovative ideas that benefit the public and forcing their competitors to follow suit. They demonstrate how corporate citizenship is undoubtedly tied to the success of a company’s brand and bottom line.”

Among the familiar food industry names on the list of 145 companies:

• Colgate-Palmolive
• Costco
• Ecolab
• Kellogg Co.
• Kimberly-Clark
• L’Oreal
• Marks and Spencer
• PepsiCo
• Safeway
• Starbucks
• Stonyfield
• Target
• Wegmans
• Whole Foods

Other familiar retailing names:

• Gap
• Patagonia
• Timberland
• eBay
• Microsoft
• American Express

“This year’s winners know that a strong ethics program is a key component to a successful business model, and they continue to scrutinize their ethical standards to keep up with an ever-changing regulatory environment,” says Alex Brigham, Executive Director of Ethisphere. “Corporate ethics has become much more important globally, as well, and that is reflected in the truly global nature of this year’s honorees.”
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Another year, another list, another whiff for MNB.