March 24, 2018

The World’s Most Ethical Businesses: Who & Why

Believe it or not, there are companies out there who have unshakably moral business objectives. Their day-to-day operations are ethically sound, and business runs (mostly) without a hitch because all is built on honesty and communication.

Some focus on renewable energy, while others are passionate about workers’ rights. One thing that unites them all is an insistence on doing things ethically. These champions cut no corners, they treat their workers right, and they do their bit for the environment.

Without further ado, here are some of our favourites.

Patagonia

After spending most of his life scaling peaks and surfing waves, Yvon Choiunard founded outdoor-clothing company Patagonia in 1973 and has become a billionaire off the back of its success. For the Californian-born brand, eco is everything.

Patagonia have upheld a strong moral compass since day one, which habitually points other brands in the right direction. They not only lead the way in terms of innovative fabrics (recycled nylon, anyone?), but they also keep a close eye on their supply chain.

In fact, as of recent months, the next Patagonia swim line will be the first ever to be 100% Fair Trade Certified. Patagonia’s corporate philosophy reads: “100% for the Planet”, so they’re definitely in our good books.

The Ford Company

Founded in 1903 by captain of industry Henry Ford, this Michigan-based auto manufacturer has a greener set of ethics than you might think. Ford are a household name in the auto industry, and has around 201,000 employees working at their HQ alone.

They were also one of the very first to bring a hybrid electric vehicle to market, back in 2004. In fact, going back to as early as 1997, Ford have been responsible for numerous plug-in vehicles, making them a noted innovator in petrol-free auto solutions.

For eight years running, Ford have been named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute, a governing body that defines and measures ethical standards in the corporate world. Whether it’s their robust anti-harassment policies or their cutting-edge green technology, Ford tick all the boxes.

Natura Cosmeticos

Brazilian beauty-product manufacturer Natura Cosmeticos quit testing their products on animals way back in 2003, and have since become the largest member of B Corps, a global certification programme for ethical companies.

Not only are Natura a major player in the world cosmetics industry – they just bought The Body Shop and they also own Australian beauty brand Aesop – so it’s safe to say that they’ve always kept a close eye on environmental issues.

Founded in 1969 by Luis Seabra, Natura Cosmeticos are an example of how a massively profitable, global brand can do their bit for the environment and stay true to their roots.

IKEA

Swedish furniture giants IKEA sell clean living like no other; from the Scandi minimalism of their products to their overall business ethics, they have become synonymous with a certain kind of lifestyle. Immediately recognisable, IKEA have always been invested in environmental issues.

This extends to their environmental efforts and their supply chain. They source almost half of their wood from sustainable foresters, and 100% of their cotton is sourced from farms that are aligned with the Better Cotton standards programme.

What’s more, they maintain a strict zero-tolerance take on child labour, even working with UNICEF and Save the Children to help raise awareness. If you’re looking for a new coffee table, you can certainly do a lot worse than IKEA.

LUSH

Founded in 1995, LUSH are renowned for their eco-warrior status and their support of numerous movements, campaigning strongly for animal rights and against deforestation.

Their products are tested on human volunteers instead of animals, and, as of 2008, all their products are made without palm oil. 2016 saw their ‘Hands of Friendship’ soap products make £246,000, all of which went to a charity supporting Syrian refugees.

Even their packaging is environmentally friendly; they pioneered the shampoo bar which is sold free from packaging. At the moment, 90% of their packaging material is fully recycled, with a view to make the remaining 10% recyclable too. They are a firm company favourite, and we share many of the same ideals.

When it comes to the environment, we champion innovation. Companies that find alternative means to go about their business are becoming far more common, and we’re proud to rub shoulders with some of the best.

Solar power is at the forefront of renewable energy, and many businesses are looking to solar to reduce their carbon footprints. If solar sounds like something you would be interested in, give us a call on 0800 112 3110 or fill in an enquiry form.