Ethical Business?
November 22, 2011 3:33 AM   Subscribe

What are the major organizations that publish company profiles and/or reports on the ethics of their business practices?

I feel like such an organization exists (more likely several) but I'm having trouble finding them. I'm basically looking for a watchdog organization that monitors corporate practices and reports on their environmental impact, whether or not their business practices are ethical, their labor practices, and so on. Preferably one that publishes its findings publicly and one that aggregates such reports.
posted by god particle to Law & Government (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Ethisphere does this but its focus is directed more at business itself not as some equivalent of a government overseer. They court corporate clients and purport to help them improve their ethical compliance activities. They have an interesting newsletter but sometimes it does seem like it is being written by a high school kid.
posted by caddis at 3:57 AM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

Glassdoor is kind of that.
posted by oceanjesse at 5:06 AM on November 22, 2011

How about EPA cases? Perhaps somebody is indexing it in a more useful way somewhere.
posted by michaelh at 6:25 AM on November 22, 2011

I can direct you to one of the paid services that does that. My organization uses KLD Global Socrates which gives a pretty good analysis of various areas where businesses excel or do poorly on the following metrics- Environment, Community & Society, Customers, Employees & Supply Chain, and Governance & Ethics (which are further broken down into lots of detailed subheaders like carbon emission, human & civil rights). It's mainly a tool for investors, but I work in fundraising for a well regarded NGO, and we use this to do research on any companies who want to engage in public facing campaigns with us in order to protect our brand.
posted by kimdog at 6:44 AM on November 22, 2011

The organization I run (link is in my profile) is a media platform for news about exactly this topic. When companies do something particularly good or bad, we report on it. We also write about news of interest to the sustainable business community. It's organized as a media platform, not a database, so you'd have to do a site search to find information about particular companies.

As for databases, the Global Reporting Initiative is the biggest worldwide database of corporate CSR reports. They just released a database that allows you to compare company to company on a wide variety of metrics. I haven't had much time to play around in it but I'm pretty excited about it because they have a huge amount of data.

Then there are the guys who put together all the big rankings for Newsweek and such: Trucost. I'm pretty sure you can look right at some of their data on their website.

CSR HUB does a pretty neat ranking system, but I'm not sure how much is available for free.

Just Means also has a new database/ranking system. I haven't had much time to look at it though, but it's worth exploring

You also might find it useful to look at the NGOs that engage with corporations-- those with specific actions running will show you who to stay away from:

Environmental Defense Fund
Forest Stewardship Council
Rainforest Action Network
As You Sow

Hope that helps!
posted by paddingtonb at 12:45 PM on November 22, 2011

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