Five MN Cos. Make List of “World’s Most Ethical”

Ecolab, H.B. Fuller, The Mosaic Company, Target, and Thrivent Financial for Lutherans are among 145 companies named to the Ethisphere Institute’s 2013 “World’s Most Ethical Companies” list.

Five Minnesota-based businesses are among the “World’s Most Ethical Companies,” according to a 2013 list recently released by the Ethisphere Institute.

St. Paul-based Ecolab, Vadnais Heights-based H.B. Fuller, and Plymouth-based The Mosaic Company were listed in the chemical company category. Meanwhile, Minneapolis-based Target Corporation appeared in the retail category, and Minneapolis-based Thrivent Financial for Lutherans was one of the financial services companies that made the list.

This year’s list included 138 companies. Ecolab, Mosaic, Target, and Thrivent also appeared on the 2012  “World’s Most Ethical Companies” list, which also included Richfield-based Best Buy Company. The 2011 list included Ecolab, Target, Best Buy, and Golden Valley-based General Mills.

According to the Ethisphere Institute, this year’s winners represent “the companies that truly go beyond making statements about doing business ‘ethically’ and translate those words into action.”

This year’s honorees gathered Tuesday and Wednesday at the Global Ethics Summit in New York City and were recognized at a gala dinner.

Companies or individuals can submit nominations for the list, and each year, the Ethisphere Institute contacts both nominees and past years’ winners, which are then asked to complete an “ethics quotient” survey. The institute conducts data analysis, research, and verification after the survey responses are in. Consideration for the list is based on each company’s ethics and compliance program; corporate citizenship and responsibility; reputation, leadership, and innovation; culture of ethics; and governance. To compile this year’s list, the Ethisphere Institute reviewed a record number of nominations from companies representing 36 industries and more than 100 countries.

Several of the Minnesota-based companies that made the list released announcements that touted their recognition and that included comments from their leaders.

“Every day, Ecolab’s 41,000 associates strive to make the world cleaner, safer and healthier,” said Douglas M. Baker, Jr., chairman and CEO of Ecolab, which made the list for the seventh consecutive year. “This purpose guides us to manage our global operations with integrity and care for the health, safety, and prosperity of our associates, customers, communities and the environment.”

Meanwhile, Mosaic President and CEO Jim Prokopanko said: “This distinction provides proof that our more than 8,000 employees are successfully translating Mosaic’s promises into meaningful action globally. Our culture of accountability continues to benefit stakeholders and the communities where we live and work. With this recognition, we’re honored and inspired to continue growing our corporate citizenship initiatives—as we work to help the world grow the food it needs.”

In addition to including some Minnesota-based companies, the “World’s Most Ethical Companies” list includes numerous companies that have offices or stores within the state. To see the full list, click here.

The Ethisphere Institute is an international think tank dedicated to the creation, advancement, and sharing of best practices in business ethics, corporate social responsibility, anti-corruption, and sustainability. The list of the most ethical companies is published in Ethisphere magazine, the institute’s quarterly publication.

Ecolab, H.B. Fuller, The Mosaic Company, and Target are all among Minnesota’s 25 largest public companies based on revenue. Thrivent, meanwhile, is the state’s second-largest private company.