Least Ethical Companies In The World

  • Monsanto Co.

    Agriculture giant, leads the world in the production of genetically-engineered seed. Has a “myriad [of] criticisms” against it including, frequently and unfairly suing small farmers for patent infringement.
  • Halliburton Company

    After the invasion of Iraq in 2003, Halliburton, the oil and gas company famously associated with former Vice President Dick Cheney, was accused of unfairly procuring billions of dollars in government contracts for oil repair in the country.
  • Chevron Corp.

    Oil and gas giant - accused of tax evasion as well a number of environmental infractions in several countries around the world. Most controversial was 1998 in Nigeria: after protesters took hostages as part of a demonstration against the company, Nigerian soldiers shot at the demonstrators, killing two. Chevron was accused of facilitating the transport of the soldiers, known for their "general history of committing abuses," to the scene. The company, however, was cleared of the charges.
  • Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc

    Freeport-McMoRan, a copper and gold producer, has run into opposition in Indonesia's Papua province, where locals have tried to claim the area's vast gold deposits -- reportedly the largest in the world.
  • Philip Morris International Inc.

    Philip Morris, one of the world's leading cigarette manufacturers, ranked fifth-worst in the Covalence survey. Earlier this month, the company reportedly attempted to persuade the government to abandon its ten-year-old lawsuit against the tobacco industry for allegedly concealing the dangers of cigarettes.
  • Occidental Petroleum Corporation

    One of America's largest oil and gas companies, involved in a number of territory disputes in multiple countries, including Ecuador and Colombia and with environmentalists in 2005, when it proposed building a road through Ecuador's Yasuní National Park.
  • Ryanair Holdings plc

    Michael O'Leary, the CEO of Ryanair, is known for his outrageous behaviour and aggressive cost-cutting measures. Employees of his company are reportedly forbidden from using the company's pens or charging their cellphones with its electricity. And O'Leary has been known to get nasty with customers, allegedly yelling and cursing at one person who requested a refund after a relative fell ill.
  • Syngenta AG

    The Swiss agriculture and chemicals company was fined by the EPA in 2008 for pesticide-related infringements, and one of its former employees was recently awarded nearly US$2 million after she was wrongly fired for reporting discrimination in the workplace.
  • Grupo Mexico SA de CV

    Mining giant. In 2007, miners at Mexicana, the copper mine in Cananea, northern Mexico went on strike to protest safety and health violations. More than two years later, the workers are still striking.
  • Total SA

    French oil and gas company Total has been accused of building a pipeline with slave labour in Myanmar. In addition, in 1999 one of the company's oil tankers, the Erika, which had nes of oil on board, sunk off of the coast of Brittany.
Note: Covalence utilises both quantitative and qualitative data, spanning seven years, for 581 companies. The data encompass 45 criteria that include labour standards, waste management and human rights records. And because it is a reputation index, the Covalence survey also incorporates media, industry and NGO documents into its evaluation.

Source: Covalence Ethical Quote Ranking reputation index