Who's Ethical? Set Your Own Criteria

Choosing who's ethical depends on whose values and criteria you pick.

One group's corporate star might be another's boycott target. Here are a few of the ways to separate the good from the bad:

Animal testing

The National Anti-Vivisection Society rates 1,700 companies on their use of animals to test products. Its $6.95 guide, "Personal Care for People Who Care," can be ordered by phone (800-888-NAVS) or through the mail (53 W. Jackson Blvd.; Suite 1552; Chicago, IL 60604).

Anti-union practices

The Union Label & Services Trades department of the AFL-CIO has, for years, tried to steer consumer dollars toward union-friendly companies. Its Web site ( lists companies the union favors and those it doesn't.


Co-op America maintains a wide-ranging Web service, called Green Pages Online (, that allows consumers to search for environmentally friendly products. It also offers, free, a tree-saving publication called "Woodwise Consumer." The group also investigates social and economic issues (800-58-GREEN).

Minority advancement

The NAACP rates 14 major US hotel chains for their employment of African-Americans as well as their support of minority businesses and charitable groups. The report card is available at the group's Web site ( It plans to rate telecommunications companies next.

Multiple ratings

The Council on Economic Priorities publishes "The Corporate Report Card," rating 250 corporations along eight categories: environment, women's advancement, minority advancement, charitable giving, community outreach, family benefits, workplace issues, and social disclosure. The $25 book, or an older $17 guide called "Shopping for a Better World," can be ordered by calling CEP: 800-729-4CEP.

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