You’re an ambitious person who’s probably already started their own company or planning to one day in the future. Ethical companies, their business practices, and their success have peaked your interest. You want to mirror their success but you aren’t sure how ethical companies operate in order to achieve this balance. We’ll explain how principled firms achieve their success and you’ll have a good insight on how to emulate them within your own business.
In order to understand the success of ethical companies, we must first define what ethics are. As outlined by businesscasestudies.co.uk ethics can be described as follows:
“Ethics concern an individual’s moral judgments about right and wrong. Decisions taken within an organisation may be made by individuals or groups, but whoever makes them will be influenced by the culture of the company. The decision to behave ethically is a moral one; employees must decide what they think is the right course of action. This may involve rejecting the route that would lead to the biggest short-term profit.” businesscasestudies.co.uk
The rise of an ethically conscious consumer has been the subject of great media attention, scientific research and strategic planning by businesses worldwide. This has been largely due to the digital age we now live in, where information can be shared to millions across the world instantaneously. Companies and media organisations have been increasingly caught off guard by stories breaking and going viral on Twitter and other social media. It is in this context that the ethical consumer makes their buying decisions today. Companies that mistreat employees, use minerals from conflicts zones and mislead consumer environmental benefits of their products are being named and shamed regularly. This is why it is important for entrepreneurs to be aware of how ethical business practices can benefit their business in the medium to long-term. To achieve your ambitions you must adapt to the times and aim to have a sustainable business model.
In order to be ethical, companies need to take into consideration the following factors:
- Environmental responsibility – Firms need to take into consideration the impact their business practices have on the environment. Businesses with physical products should consider the carbon footprint of their supply chains as an example. Especially those who create energy efficient or green technology products. There’s little point in making a green tech product if it’s supply chain’s carbon footprint outweighs the potential environmental benefits of the product they’re selling.
- Ethical treatment of employees – Happy workers are productive workers. Paying employees fairly will generous is one way to be ethical. Firms need to be mindful of the gender pay gap especially, due to the increased media attention and public outcry on this issue. Having properly formulated and implemented human resources policies is another example of ethical business practices.
- Corporate social responsibility – Companies that give a back to the community and demonstrate it can garner great brand loyalty from the ethically. Several companies give a portion away to charity, fund projects for local businesses & startups and setup even set up their own charities.
This is what the World Trade Organisation suggests to focus on for Ethical Business Trading:
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We’ve gone through the top 35 businesses, so you don’t have to! We have chosen a couple that we find interesting…
Thrivent Financial is now in it’s 7th year of being named the worlds most ethical company by the Ethisphere Institute according to thrivent.com. The Ethisphere Institute is at the forefront of determining and furthering ethical practices worldwide. They were the only company in the financial services industry to place. The most ethical companies in the world are determined to utilise the Ethics quotient.
This company is a not for profit organisation, that has contributed millions upon millions of $$ to different causes, from Haiti local communities, housing projects and individual people. Not only this, they initiated a relationship with Habitat for Humanity, where they have an ongoing project to build houses at home and overseas. They strongly encourage their members to donate their time to this project and many others. Aside from their outward efforts, they have been applauded for their relationship with their employees. They are said to make their work environment safe, positive and encouraging and openly speak about the importance of a healthy and happy organisational culture.
When looking at your own company there are many ways you can implement these things into your business. Not everyone can be ‘not for profit’ and not everyone should be, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t take some of the honourable intentions that Thrivent have and implement them into your own business plan.
Ford was announced as one of the most ethical companies in the world for the eighth year in a row as reported by india today.in . This beats the record of any other automobile manufacturer. Bill Ford the Ford CEO stated “Strong ethics and corporate citizenship are the foundations of our business philosophy, which demonstrates to our customers what we stand for as a company,” and also that “This honour is a reflection of Ford’s core values, and it shows that our employees are continuing to make the right decisions every day for all of our stakeholders.” Bill Ford the Ford CEO.
Ford has schemes focused improving health & safety for workers, human rights, minerals that are not from war zones and having a low carbon supply chain.
Tata Steel and Wipro
Tata Steel and Wipro were also recognised among the most principled firms in the world as outlined by businesstoday.in. Tata Steel is the worlds largest Steel company with it’s founder becoming the world’s richest man in recent history. Wipro is an excellent company that hold four things in the core of their business.
It is an information technology company, and they pride themselves with holding ethics, respect, global awareness and integrity. As part if their cores and beliefs they have “We are energised by the deep connectedness between people, ideas, communities and the environment.” They are celebrated for being very good with their staff, and excellent at customer service.
Both of these companies are from India, which demonstrates another global trend in those companies from the developing world are becoming increasingly dominant in the global economy. This also makes it all the more impressive that they both take their businesses seriously and consider the macro environment in a very sincere and proactive way.
The complete list of the world most principled firms is available from worldsmostethicalcompanies.ethisphere.com.
Ethical companies have a lot that many others can learn from. When it came to Urgos starting out, we believed that creating a strong core of beliefs between our partners. If you have been keeping up with our blog you’ll know some of the environmentally conscious design features. You might also know about some of the features that have been designed so that they can be used by everyone safely and securely, no matter age or disability. This is a good start, but after doing some research and learning about all of the wonderful choices that many companies make, we decided to take a step further.
In our constitution, we wrote an entire section about how important our ethical mindset for the business is. We decided, when writing this section, that we should go a step further and really aim to get our business to make it on that list some day. We decided to create The Urgos Foundation will be providing food, shelter, education and medical care to those who are most vulnerable and need it the most.
We hope this has been useful to you in understanding the benefits of ethical business practices for your company. To get regular updates on more content like please sign up for our newsletter here.