This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

5 Small Businesses with Ethics

NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- The term "ethical company" can seem like an oxymoron since a financial crisis that revealed some of the dirtiest secrets in the mortgage and housing industries.

But not every company has grown so large and so greedy that the only thing its executives can think of is how high and fast they can boost their share price. In fact, there are a host of companies that see it as their mission to be more than profit generators.

More than 100 companies made the 2011 world's most ethical companies list maintained by the Ethisphere Institute.

Each year the Institute seeks to identify companies that "truly go beyond making statements about doing business 'ethically' and translate those words into action," according an institute statement. Companies submit applications on their ethics and compliance programs to a panel of experts, which select winners based on seven categories: corporate citizenship and responsibility; corporate governance; innovation that contributes to public well-being; industry leadership; executive leadership and tone from the top; legal, regulatory and reputation track record; and internal systems and ethics and compliance programs.

Winners included Starbucks (SBUX - Get Report), American Express (AXP - Get Report) and Target (TGT - Get Report), along with even a few smaller -- relatively speaking -- companies, such as Whole Foods (WFM - Get Report), Amazon's (AMZN - Get Report) Zappos.com and Salesforce.com (CRM - Get Report).

Mary Gentile, a senior research scholar at Babson College, says there could be many reasons why some companies choose to be more ethical than others.

"Some of the companies and their owners/managers take this kind of action because they are community-based and want to establish themselves as good citizens, building customer loyalty in the community. Sometimes a company owner/manager will take such actions because they are consistent with his or her own personal or religious values," Gentile says.

"There is also some research that suggests that when a firm is a good citizen, its employees feel more pride and loyalty and commitment to the firm," she adds.

Here are five small companies taking their mission beyond just profit-making:

1 of 6

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,164.95 -251.90 -1.45%
S&P 500 1,994.99 -26.26 -1.30%
NASDAQ 4,635.24 -48.1670 -1.03%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs