EIRIS (Ethical Investment Research Service) is a leading global provider of independent investment research into the environmental, social, governance and ethical performance of companies. Its recent survey is good news for a number of UK companies.
Top of the pile was the bus group First Group. Go Ahead, another transport company, came 10th. GlaxoSmithKline did well too.
20% of UK companies, they looked at, got an A rating. Compare that to the US where only 2% got an A.
Internationally, German sportswear company Puma came top. Brands like Phillips (Dutch) did well too but Apple and Google did badly. Toyota, makers of the Prius, also did badly. And no surprise that NestlĂ© were also in the poor performers league.
No surprise that the oil companies Exxon Mobile, Chevron, Conoco Philips and Occidental got the lowest E grade. But with the money they are making from inflated fuel prices at the moment, they probably donâ€™t care.
Of course, as there is really no universal agreement as to the definition of ethics, itâ€™s all academic. I also have a cynical view of these evaluations as they are based on what the organisation thinks matters and often is more about figures than real facts. But at least itâ€™s good to know that UK companies appear to be leading the way in ethics.