Ryanair near bottom of 'ethical ranking' list


RYANAIR HAS appeared in the bottom 10 of an “ethical ranking” of 581 companies, based on environmental performance, corporate social responsibility and information provided to consumers.

The ranking was compiled by Geneva-based Covalence, which measures qualitative data on 45 criteria including labour standards, waste management, social utility and human rights policy.

The company claims that its “reputation index”, which is distributed by Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg and Capital IQ, is “a barometer of how multinationals are perceived in the ethical field”.

Ryanair is ranked 575 on the latest list, just ahead of Occidental Petroleum, US tobacco company Phillip Morris and oil giant Chevron. At the bottom is Monsanto, chiefly known for genetically modified foods.

CRH plc, the only other Irish firm on the list, comes close to the bottom, with a ranking of 557 – sandwiched between Exxon Mobil and Japan Tobacco.

Guinness manufacturer Diageo is ranked high, at 39.

The top 10 are headed by IBM, followed by Intel (which has a major plant at Leixlip, Co Kildare), HSBC Holdings, Marks Spencer, Unilever, Xerox, General Electric, Cisco Systems, Dell and Procter & Gamble.

“Environmental initiatives, eco-innovative products and social sponsorships enabled companies to generate positive coverage in 2009, while issues related to downsizing, CO2 emissions and working conditions caused the most criticisms,” Covalence said.

New sector leaders are BMW (cars), Walt Disney (media), and Suncor Energy (oil & gas). Across sectors, companies progressing the most during 2009 were British Telecom, Kimberly-Clark, Samsung Electronics and Siemens.

Well-known companies in the top 20 include Alcoa Aluminium, Pepsico, Nike, Microsoft, Starbucks, DuPont, BASF, Danone and Vodafone, while those in the bottom 20 include Royal Dutch Shell, AIG, British American Tobacco and Halliburton.

Google is ranked at 24, Toyota at 32, Walmart at 42, Barclays at 46 and Coca-Cola at 47. Still in the top 100 are French conglomerate Veolia (which operates Luas in Dublin) at 89, Statoil at 90, Mazda at 93, Tesco at 97 and Fiat at 98.

Ethical companies: best and worst

TOP 10

1 International Business Machines CorpTechnology

2 Intel CorporationTechnology

3 HSBC HoldingsBanks

4 Marks & SpencerRetail

5 Unilever NVFood Beverages

6 XeroxTechnology

7 General Electric CoIndustrial Goods Services

8 Cisco SystemsTechnology

9 DellTechnology

10 Procter & GamblePersonal & Household Goods


572 Total SAOil & Gas

573 Grupo Mexico SA de CVBasic Resources

574 Syngenta AGChemicals

575 RyanairTravel & Leisure

576 Occidental PetroleumOil & Gas

577 Philip Morris InternationalPersonal & Household Goods

578 Freeport-McMoRan Copper & GoldBasic Resources

579 ChevronOil & Gas

580 Halliburton CompanyOil & Gas

581 MonsantoFood & Beverages