Sodexo Named as One of "World's Most Ethical Companies"

April 15, 2009

Ethisphere Institute Award Recognizes Real and Sustained Ethical Leadership of Foodservice and Facilities Management Company

Sodexo Named as One of "World's Most Ethical Companies"

GAITHERSBURG, Md., April 15, 2009 — Sodexo announced today it has been named one of the 2009 World’s Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute.  Sodexo, a quality of life solutions company with a core business of foodservice and facilities management and one of the world’s leading employers, earned a coveted place on the list by emphasizing going beyond legal minimums, implementing innovative programs that benefit the communities where it does business, and setting a high standard for its industry peers, business partners and suppliers in terms of ethical leadership.

"When it comes to ethical programs and practices, our goal is to reach high above the compliance level,” said George Chavel, president and CEO of Sodexo in North America and COO of Sodexo Group.  “Our goal is to make Sodexo the benchmark for honorable behavior in terms of our workforce, the integrity in how we operate our business and the transparency with which we report about business to all our stakeholders. Ultimately, our goal is to have a positive impact in all the communities in which we serve in the U.S. and globally. Sodexo is honored to be named one of the World's Most Ethical Companies.”

Chavel added that the Sodexo leadership team is dedicated to communicating the importance of ethics as a critical part of running their business and the company supports many programs to ensure all Sodexo employees maintain high ethical standards.

This is the third year Ethisphere, a think-tank dedicated to the creation, advancement and sharing of best practices in business ethics, corporate social responsibility, anti-corruption and sustainability, has published the WME rankings, which appear in Ethisphere Magazine’s Q1 issue. 

Through a rigorous, multi-step evaluation process, Ethisphere’s researchers and analysts reviewed more than 10,000 companies in order to determine the finalists. 

“Sodexo has proven to be one of the world leaders in upholding high ethical standards, making it a true standout in its industry, especially as unethical business actions and decisions grab headlines each day,” said Alex Brigham, Executive Director of the Ethisphere Institute.  “The competition for this year’s World’s Most Ethical Companies was very strong and we applaud Sodexo for rising to the top. Sodexo recognizes that being ethical is not only the right thing to do, it is also good business practice and leads to more successful and profitable operations.”

The methodology for the WME ranking includes reviewing codes of ethics, litigation and regulatory infraction histories; evaluating the investment in innovation and sustainable business practices; looking at activities designed to improve corporate citizenship; studying nominations from senior executives, industry peers, suppliers and customers; and working with consumer action groups for feedback. The 2009 World’s Most Ethical Companies methodology committee, comprised of leading attorneys, government officials, professors and organization leaders, were consulted early on in the 2009 WME process and had the opportunity to review  and comment on the methodology used to rate this year’s nominees. Ethisphere researchers further analyze information provided by the companies through questionnaires.

To view the complete list of the 2009 World’s Most Ethical Companies, please visit www.ethisphere.org/wme2009.

Sodexo, Inc.
Sodexo, Inc. (www.sodexoUSA.com) is a leading integrated facilities management services company in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, with $7.7 billion (USD) in annual revenue and 120,000 employees.  Sodexo serves more than ten million customers daily in corporations, health care, long term care and retirement centers, schools, college campuses, government, and remote sites.  Sodexo, Inc., headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md., is a member of Sodexo Group, and funds all administrative costs for the Sodexo Foundation (www.sodexofoundation.org), an independent charitable organization that, since its founding in 1999, has made more than $11 million in grants to fight hunger in America

About Ethisphere Institute
The research-based Ethisphere Institute is a leading international think-tank dedicated to the creation, advancement and sharing of best practices in business ethics, corporate social responsibility, anti-corruption and sustainability. The Institute’s associated membership group, the Ethisphere Council, is a forum for business ethics that includes more than 200 leading corporations, universities and institutions. The Ethisphere Council is dedicated to the development and advancement of individuals on its membership council through increased efficiency, innovation, tools, mentoring, advice, and unique career opportunities. Ethisphere Magazine, which publishes the globally recognized World’s Most Ethical Companies Ranking™, is the quarterly publication of the Institute. More information on the Ethisphere Institute, including ranking projects and membership, can be found at http://www.ethisphere.org.

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