HSBC has been named the world’s most ethical company out of 541 multinationals in 18 sectors by Geneva-based research consultancy Covalence.

The bank ranked above well known names such as Intel, Unilever, Marks and Spencer, Xerox, Alcoa, Rio Tinto, General Electric, Dell Computer, and DuPont in the study – a barometer of how multinationals are perceived in the ethical field.

A range of criteria were considered, including environmental impact of production, social sponsorship, waste management, information provided to consumers, eco-innovative products, international presence, product environmental risk, labour standards, and anti-corruption policy.

The data used to build this ranking ran from 2002 to November 2008.

The purpose of Covalence, which was founded in 2001, is to increase the availability of information about sustainable development by measuring the evolution of multinational enterprises' ethical performance. Covalence has clients and readers among multinationals, investors, governments, international organisations, and throughout the media.

“Everyone at HSBC Malta is very proud of the fact that the Group has won this prestigious award. HSBC’s success is built on a reputation and a character which embraces the highest possible ethical standards,” said HSBC Malta CEO Alan Richards.

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