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Ford Motor Company: One Of The World's Most Ethical Companies

By Expert Author: Angela Whitmore

Ford Motor Company was recognized as one of the most ethical companies in the world by Ethisphere Institute for the fifth consecutive year. Ethisphere Institute is one of the premier think tanks that specializes in improving business ethics, sustainability, social responsibility and anticorruption practices. Ford Motor Company was one of the 144 businesses selected among the thousands worldwide that were considered. Ford is the only auto manufacturer to receive the honor in 2014. Ford is one of the select few to receive the honor on five different occasions. The automaker was recognized for its business practices, corporate governance and responsibility efforts.

Ethisphere rates companies based on its Ethics Quotient, a proprietary formula composed of five weighted categories including ethics and compliance program, reputation, leadership & innovation, governance, and corporate citizenship and responsibility. The multiple choice survey is designed to assess an adequate sampling of responses that indicate core competencies. Ford currently distributes or manufactures automobiles in six different continents across the world. The automaker has 65 facilities and more than 180,000 employees in over 60 countries worldwide.

Ford has made a number of strides towards improving the sustainability of the organization and its products for the long-term. The automaker started strengthening its anticorruption program back during 2012. Ford employed an external law firm in 2012 to provide a comprehensive assessment of its compliance program. Executives use Policy Directives & Letters and the Code of Conduct Handbook to communicate expectations to employees.

There is also an online version of the Code of Conduct Handbook available. The Handbook covers topics including safety, product quality, environmental issues, integrity of financial records, workplace environment, safeguarding data and international business practices. As of April 2013, around 84 percent of the people invited had participated in the new Code of Conduct internet training course released at the end of 2012. More than 84,000 employees had participated in the training program.

Ford implements several procedures that encourage employees to report potential violations. Employees are required to submit whether or not they have a conflict of interest when filing these types of reports. The automaker also takes bribery allegations and corporate corruption very seriously. Ford began strengthening its global training program for bribery during 2012. The automaker continued making enhancements to the anticorruption program throughout 2013. Ford also bolstered anticorruption and anti-bribery sections of its Global Terms and Conditions to help ensure businesses practices remain ethical.

Ford currently has an initiative underway to reduce the water-use per vehicle by 39 percent before the year 2015. As of 2013, the automaker has eight vehicles on the market that achieve 40 miles per gallon or more. According to Ford, there are over 2,100 suppliers that have already been trained in sustainability and managing environmental issues. Ford also participates in several collaborative efforts with other automakers and national councils to help improve the safety standards in their products and operations. Ford also focuses on maintaining sustainable supply chains of raw materials by collaborating with others, adhering to transparency and operating as a proponent for recyclable materials.

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