Ten Thousand Villages Named One of "World's Most Ethical Companies"
Fair trade retailer among distinguished list announced by Forbes and The Ethisphere Institute
World fair trade leader Ten Thousand Villages has been recognized as one of the "World's Most Ethical Companies" by The Ethisphere Institute and Forbes Magazine. Recipients of the internationally acclaimed award were revealed this week during an awards ceremony sponsored by The Ethisphere Institute and Forbes Magazine in New York City.
"This is truly an amazing distinction bestowed on Ten Thousand Villages, and we are honored to be recognized among this class of elite companies," said Ten Thousand Villages Chief Executive Officer, Craig Schloneger. "As a nonprofit retail operation we strive to be fair trade leaders, coupling our mission with sustainable economic and environmental practices. I am proud of Ten Thousand Villages and our team's commitment to fair trade and to serving the needs of both the artisans who supply our products, and the customers who purchase them."
Researchers and analysts with The Ethisphere Institute reviewed more than 10,000 of the world's leading companies on six continents including a rigorous, multi-step evaluation process. Among Ten Thousand Villages' peers recognized in the class of retail operations were IKEA, Stoneyfield Farm, Target, Kellogg Company, Google and Trader Joe's.
Schloneger was among four business leaders who spoke at the event, and offered the following challenge to fellow members of the "World's Most Ethical Companies" class of 2008: "I want to be so bold as to challenge this distinguished group of businesses to continue to promote ethics in the marketplace, and to treat people fairly from the beginning of the supply chain to the very end of the market chain," Schloneger expressed. "We are called to act justly, love mercy and to walk humbly for we have a big responsibility and a tremendous opportunity … to motivate our customers with our business ethics, to empower our suppliers on a daily basis and to make a positive impact on the world in which we live."
"We applaud the positive work and mission of Ten Thousand Villages," said Alexander Brigham, executive director of The Ethisphere Institute. "Ten Thousand Villages is among the companies honored this year because they have developed impressive and meaningful ethical business practices, making them true standouts within their industry. By their actions, they are forcing their competitors to follow suit, or fall behind—they truly embody the notion that ethical business practices are more profitable in the long run."
The Ethisphere Institute and its associated membership group is dedicated to the research, creation and sharing of best practices in ethics, compliance and corporate governance among companies. Members of the 2008 "World's Most Ethical Companies" will be published in the globally-recognized annual World Most Ethical Companies RankingTM, as well as the Government Contractor Ethics Program RankingTM and the upcoming Global Anti-Corruption Quotient. Additionally, Ten Thousand Villages and other members of the carefully researched and selected listing will be featured in an upcoming issue of Forbes and in the Q2 issue of Ethisphere Magazine.
For more than 60 years, Ten Thousand Villages has been establishing long-term buying relationships in places where skilled artisans lack opportunities for stable income. The commitment to support artisans around the globe is strengthened through fair trade compensation practices including cash advances and prompt payments. As the company continues to grow, Ten Thousand Villages has become increasingly conscious of the need to marry the concept of fair trade with healthy and environmentally sustainable business practices. From store operations to product sourcing to marketing practices, Ten Thousand Villages strives to meet the "triple bottom line" of economic, environmental and social sustainability.