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Marks and Spencer, H&M, and Levi’s honoured as ‘ethical’ companies

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

14 Mar 2016

Fashion

London - British retailer Marks and Spencer, along with Swedish fashion chain H&M, and denim brand Levi Strauss and Co, have been recognised as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute, an independent centre of research promoting best practices in corporate ethics and governance.

The Ethisphere Institute honours companies that excel in three areas - promoting ethical business standards and practices internally, enabling managers and employees to make good choices, and shaping future industry standards by introducing tomorrow’s best practices.

The 2016 list marks the tenth anniversary of Ethisphere and the World’s Most Ethical Companies designation, and there were 131 honourees spanning 21 countries and 5 continents and representing over 45 industries.

Ethisphere’s chief executive officer, Timothy Erblich, said: “In each of the last ten years, the Ethisphere Institute has measured companies who demonstrate leadership in areas like citizenship, integrity and transparency as the World’s Most Ethical Companies. It is both thrilling and humbling to see the results of our joint efforts to advance the standards of corporate behaviour, and the ways that this behaviour influences and improves the human condition.

"Companies rely on Ethisphere to continually raise and measure the standards of corporate behaviour. Those that demonstrate leadership in areas like citizenship, integrity and transparency create more value for their investors, communities, customers and employees, thus solidifying a sustainable business advantage.”

Fashion companies named in ‘World’s Most Ethical’ list

Marks and Spencer has been recognised by the Ethisphere Institute as one of the world’s most ethical companies eight times, while this marks H&M’s sixth year, and Levi’s have made the list three times.

H&M’s head of sustainability, Anna Gedda, added: “We are very proud that H&M is named as one of the world’s most ethical companies. Being an honouree for the sixth time recognises our commitment to set ethical standards and practices in the fashion industry.

“We will continue our efforts to lead the fashion industry towards a more sustainable future where ethical and sustainable standards is a prerequisite for success.”

The World's Most Ethical Company assessment is based upon the Ethisphere Institute’s Ethics Quotient framework developed over years of research to provide a means to assess an organisation’s performance in an objective, consistent and standardised way. Scores are generated in five key categories: ethics and compliance program, corporate citizenship and responsibility, culture of ethics, governance and leadership, innovation and reputation and provided to all companies who participate in the process.

Fashion names to make the list in previous years includes Gap, Patagonia, Timberland, Adidas, New Balance and Nike.

Image: Marks and Spencer

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