IBM, Intel and PepsiCo have topped rankings of companies with the most ethical reputations.
The EthicalQuote rankings by Swiss company Covalence score 581 companies in 18 sectors, through the quantities of positive and negative news stories about each company.
Covalence describes the system as “a barometer of how multinationals are perceived in the ethical field”.
EthicalQuote evaluates companies on 45 criteria including waste management, products’ social utility, labor standards and human rights policy.
Covalence gathers news items from the media, blogs, non-profits and companies themselves. This data is aggregated, quantified and synthesized. Data used covers the years from 2002 to December 2010.
This year five of the top ten companies were technology firms. They were IBM (1st overall), Intel (2nd), Cisco (4th), Xerox (8th) and Dell (10th).
Three companies are in the food and beverage sector: PepsiCo (3rd), Unilever (5th) and Kraft (6th). The other represented sectors are personal and household goods (Procter & Gamble, ranked seventh) and industrial goods and services (General Electric, ranked ninth).
Aluminum company Alcoa achieved the top spot in the Basic Resources category, as it has since the rankings began in 2005. Alcoa placed 15th overall.
“To be ranked number one in our industry in the 2010 Covalence rating confirms the values and integrity Alcoans have embodied for years,” Alcoa chairman and CEO Klaus Kleinfeld said.
IBM and Intel both did well in Newsweek’s environmental rankings of the 500 largest U.S. companies, but came in seventh and eight in Greenpeace’s Cool IT leaderboard.