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    Whole Foods, Wegmans Named to 'World's Most Ethical Companies' List

    Target, Starbucks also make the list

    Ethisphere Institute has unveiled its 2012 World's Most Ethical Companies list.

    Three U.S. food retailers were recognized. Austin,-Texas-based Whole Foods Market has been recognized for the fourth time since 2007. Wegmans Food Markets, based in Rochester, N.Y., and Minneapolis-based Target were also recognized. Seattle-based coffee purveyor Starbucks Coffee Co. also made the list.

    Ethisphere evaluates hundreds of companies, naming only those that surpass their industry peers to the World's Most Ethical (WME) Companies list. This is the sixth year Ethisphere has published the WME rankings. The 2012 list features companies in more than three dozen industries, including 40 companies headquartered outside the United States.

    "Whole Foods Market is honored to be recognized as a company with a conscience," said John Mackey, co-CEO and co-founder of Whole Foods Market. "Our core values are at the center of the business philosophy that drives Whole Foods Market's unique culture, growth and success. That success comes from making sure all our stakeholders – team members, customers, suppliers, shareholders, our communities and the environment– are part of our vision."

    This is the third year in a row Wegmans has been honored for promoting the highest of ethical standards. Wegmans secured a spot on the list by implementing and maintaining upright 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.

    “We are honored. To once again be included on this list is a real testament to our people who put our values in action every day,” says CEO Danny Wegman.

    Food and beverage companies on the list include Pepsi Co. and Stonyfield Farm yogurt.

    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.

    The WME list is published in the current issue of the quarterly magazine Ethisphere and is available online.

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