Combining back-office or service center operations may be an attractive way to reduce costs, but a number of key factors must be weighed before picking a location.
BF: What factors or qualities are considered paramount for the Ethisphere Institute to designate a company as ethical? AB: More than 70 criteria make up a company’s Ethics Quotient score. Critical factors include: 1. How robust is the corporate compliance and ethics program? Examples include the quality of its code of ethics and related ethics training and communication; effectiveness reporting and whistleblower systems; and tone from the top. 2. Environmental impact, where criteria may vary by industry; sustainability initiatives, reporting and transparency. 3. Industry leadership in ethics, citizenship and responsibility; we are looking for standard setters and early adopters versus followers. 4. Clean legal history, or in case of past violations, evidence of adequate response and significant efforts made to avoid future infractions. BF: Do any specific industries have large numbers of ethical companies? AB: Consumer products and food industries traditionally have been topping the charts for corporate ethics and citizenship, perhaps due to consumer and peer- pressure factors. Some companies were on the forefront of responsible business long before it became an accepted practice. For example, Kellogg’s pioneered recycled packaging in 1906. The technology sector, including computer and electronics manufacturers, software developers, Internet and telecom companies, also is noteworthy for a large number of ethical companies. Many of them are relatively young companies, whose cultures have been shaped or influenced by their founders, many of whom are known supporters of responsible business practices. BF: How can a company with a tight budget improve its ethical standing? AB: Companies should treat spending on ethics as investments into brand equity versus cost to be cut. Many pragmatic steps can be taken without breaking the bank. The cost of creating a best practice code of ethics and related training and communication program is miniscule compared to what some companies spend on brand advertising. While publishing glossy citizenship reports can be expensive, some of them really disappoint by the lack of hard facts. Greater transparency and disclosure don’t really require extra budgets; they require an executive will. Likewise, strong tone from the top needs engaged, visible and committed executives. Finally, walk the talk. World’s Most Ethical Companies The Ethisphere Institute, a think tank dedicated to the best practices in business ethics, recently announced a list of the World’s Most Ethical Companies. Entries came from more than 100 countries and 35 industries, and 99 companies made the final cut. A sample of honorees from the United States include: Honeywell International, The Aerospace Corporation, Nike, Patagonia, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Xerox, Oracle Corporation, Symantec, Mattel, General Electric,… …Read More…
From the Desk of the Editor in Chief
In the midst of a deep recession, sustainable development, green building, smart growth and alternative energy move to the top of the priorities list.
My recent jaunt through central Germany featured high-profile interviews with economic ministers, financial experts, and corporate executives…and some local apfelwein.
In our fifth annual top executive interview, Ross Moore, executive vice president at Colliers International, answers some tough questions about one of the nation’s hardest-hit markets: commercial real estate.
The Empire State still has “the economy that never sleeps”, a powerful global hub of commerce, finance, culture and entertainment.
The automotive industry may have hit a stop sign, but Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s aggressive strategy is maintaining forward momentum in the crown of the Great Lakes. From motion pictures to nanotechnology, the Wolverine State is in the hunt for new jobs.
As the need for home healthcare continues to increase for the baby boom population, the plastics and medical device industry meets this challenge with expanded growth and new products.
GreenTech Manufacturing Digs Deep in Douglas In March, Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue announced that an environmentally friendly manufacturer of construction products, GreenTech Manufacturing, plans to locate a new facility in Douglas, GA. The company will create 320 jobs and invest more than $20 million in a new manufacturing and distribution facility. “In Georgia, we work hard to support innovative companies such as GreenTech Manufacturing,” said Gov. Perdue. “As the world focuses on green technologies and cleaner manufacturing processes, GreenTech Manufacturing is a perfect fit for our state.” GreenTech Manufacturing has contracted a 103,000-square-foot manufacturing and distribution center located on nine acres in Douglas’ Southwest Industrial Park. GreenTech is wholly owned by Gulf Coast Arms, a nonprofit trust incorporated in Texas, whose mission is to foster sustainability and affordability solutions across the country and abroad. GreenTech uses the innovative Powder Impression Molding (PIM) system to produce stronger-than-steel, lightweight construction products using up to 95 percent recycled materials from single-stream solid waste sources. The result is an environmentally sustainable, efficient and cost-effective alternative to traditional construction products such as metal, wood, concrete and fiberglass. “It has been a privilege to work with the State of Georgia, whose leadership values innovation and whose involvement has been essential in bringing this project to Georgia,” stated GreenTech Spokesman Michael Moreland. “Douglas’ community leadership also strongly compelled our decision to locate in Georgia. The location’s considerable transportation connectivity is ideal for GreenTech’s distribution to national and export markets. The local workforce is well trained, and the community has ample access to educational resources for ongoing innovation and job training.” To grow roots in the local community and establish early positive relations, GreenTech will offer high-quality and high-paying administrative, technical and operational jobs that include high-tech job training and significant employee benefits. The company is working with Quick Start, East Central Technical College, the Georgia Department of Labor and Georgia Tech’s FaciliTech Team to create and implement customized workforce training. Job search and placement is expected to begin immediately, and the first PIM product to roll off the line could happen as early as September. “This is a great day for Coffee County,” said JoAnne Lewis, executive director of the Douglas-Coffee County Chamber of Commerce. “GreenTech Manufacturing will become one of the city’s biggest employers. The company’s official an-nouncement helps us celebrate the 50th anniversary of economic development in Douglas. Businesses like GreenTech will help us carry on our tradition of economic success and progress.” Big Tex Trailer Trailblazes in Cordele Big Tex Trailer Manufacturing announced in… …Read More…