HOUSTON , March 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Waste Management (NYSE: WM) has been recognized by the Ethisphere Institute, the leading business ethics think-tank, as one of the 2012 World's Most Ethical (WME) Companies. This is the fifth year the company has been honored for promoting the highest of ethical standards. Out of a record number of nominations for the award, WM secured a spot on the list by implementing and maintaining business practices and initiatives that are instrumental to the company's success, benefit the community and raise the bar for ethical standards within the industry. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090219/WMLOGO) "It is an honor to be recognized by Ethisphere for our strong corporate culture that values ethics, diversity and sustainability," said David Steiner, chief executive officer and president of WM. "As an industry leader we strive to operate in a way that contributes to the success of our business and the communities we serve. I believe it is our responsibility to make positive change for the environment and for society." This is the sixth year Ethisphere has published the WME rankings. Ethisphere reviewed hundreds of companies and evaluated a record number of applications utilizing its propriety methodology through in-depth research and multi-step analysis, naming the companies that surpassed their industry peers to this year's World's Most Ethical Companies list. The 2012 list features companies in more than three dozen industries, including 40 companies headquartered outside the United States. The methodology for the WME ranking includes reviewing codes of ethics, litigation and regulatory infraction histories; evaluating the investment in innovation and sustainable business practices; looking at activities designed to improve corporate citizenship; and studying nominations from senior executives, industry peers, suppliers and customers. "A strong ethical foundation is a competitive advantage, and WM recognizes the important role corporate responsibility plays in improving its bottom line," said Alex Brigham, executive director of the Ethisphere Institute. "As more and more organizations strive for this honor each year, WM's inclusion as a World's Most Ethical Company for 2012 demonstrates its industry-leading commitment to ethics and dedication to integrity." Read about the methodology and view the complete list of the 2012 World's Most Ethical Companies at http://ethisphere.com/worlds-most-ethical-companies-rankings/.