Safeway, Target, OfficeMax among "most ethical" companies

NEW YORK  — The Ethisphere Institute, which describes itself as a leading international think-tank dedicated to the creation, advancement and sharing of best practices in business ethics, corporate social responsibility, anti-corruption and sustainability, has released its sixth annual selection of the World’s Most Ethical Companies. Among this year's list of 145 organizations are several top, U.S. retailers including Safeway, Wegmans, Whole Foods, Costco, Target, Best Buy, OfficeMax and Petco.

Each 2012 honoree was 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, according to Ethisphere. 

“Each year the competition for World’s Most Ethical Companies intensifies as the number of nominations submitted for consideration grows,” said Alex Brigham, executive director of Ethisphere. “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. Corporate ethics has become much more important globally, as well, and that is reflected in the truly global nature of this year’s honorees.”

To read the full list and see the survey methodology, click here.