Solae makes ‘World's Most Ethical Companies’ list for 2012

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Global soy leader Solae – the joint venture between DuPont and Bunge – is one of only four food enterprises to earn a place on the 145-company strong Ethisphere Institute ethical business list.

It is the third straight year the soy heavyweight has made the 6-year-old list that recognises best practices in business ethics, corporate social responsibility, anti-corruption and sustainability.

PepsiCo and organic dairy op, Stonyfield Farms also featured on the list last year and they were joined this year by the Kellogg company, which replaced General Mills.

Like Solae, they are US-based and join a list that includes Natura Cosmeticos, Starbucks, Rabobank, Whole Foods Market, Cisco, Ford Motor Company, Intel, Ebay, American Express, General Electric and Time Warner.


Solae, which is the biggest trader of soy isolates and extracts in a global soyfoods market estimated to be worth €32b+ in 2015, welcomed the admission to Ethisphere’s ethical elite which was selected from more than 35 industries and 10,000+ companies that completed the thinktank’s questionnaire.

"It is a significant honor for Solae,”​ said Cornel Fuerer, vice president, general counsel and chief compliance officer, Solae.  

“Highest ethical behavior is one of our four core values, and it is critical to the success of our company and our customers. As the world's leader in soy-based ingredients, we strive to provide solutions to help feed a growing global population with nutritious, sustainable and affordable ingredients. It is our responsibility to ensure that our ingredients are safe and of high-quality. To achieve this, integrity must be at the core of everything we do." 

Ethisphere executive director, Alex Brigham, said competition for the awards was becoming more intense as scrutiny of business ethics grew and regulations were implemented.

"This year's winners know that a strong ethics program is a key component to a successful business model, and they continue to scrutinise their ethical standards to keep up with an ever-changing regulatory environment."


However the awards have drawn questions about the selection process.

A 2010 article in highlighted the fact many advisory panel left the organization or had non-participatory roles, and that many winners were paid-up members of the thinktank or buyers of advertising in its publications.

Brigham has admitted the organisation does not have the resources to check the veracity of all responses to its questionnaires. Nonetheless the awards have grown in prestige with former US Secretary of State Madeleine K Albright, keynoting this year’s presentation ceremony at the Grand Hyatt in New York City.

Ethisphere said the awards went to those that engaged in, “promoting ethical business standards and practices by exceeding legal minimums for compliance, introducing innovative ideas that benefit the public and forcing their competitors to follow suit.”

“They demonstrate how corporate citizenship is undoubtedly tied to the success of a company’s brand and bottom line.”


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