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Australia’s leading mutual bank serving the education sector, Teachers Mutual Bank, has just been named in New York as a 2014 World’s Most Ethical Company by the Ethisphere Institute, a US-based independent centre of research promoting best practices in corporate ethics and governance.
Teachers Mutual Bank is one of only three globally awarded Australian organisations to be recognised for continuing to raise the bar on ethical leadership and corporate behaviour. This year, 144 honourees were chosen from thousands of submissions, of which only three were Australian. All three Australian companies were banks, and Teachers Mutual Bank, by far the smallest of the three, was recognised for its work in its five sustainability priority areas – business practices, the education sector, its members, its employees, and the environment.
Steve James, CEO of Teachers Mutual Bank, comments on the announcement, “We’re honoured to be recognised at an international level by the Ethisphere Institute, and are proud to be punching above our weight alongside the biggest in the industry when it comes to ethical business practices and sustainability.”
For us, it’s not a bolt-on, it’s at the very heart of our strategy. It’s great to see Australia leading the world in ethical banking practices which is testament to the forward-thinking nature of our industry,” he said.
“The award is testament to our long-term commitment to responsible corporate citizenship and reinforces our position as an industry leader in sustainable business operations.”
The award follows 12 months of considerable achievement in sustainable business operations for Teachers Mutual Bank. In 2013, the bank reached Gold status (90%) in the annual Corporate Responsibility (CR) Index published by London’s Financial Times.
It won the ‘Best Bank in Socially Responsible Performance category’ in the Asia-Pacific Banking and Finance Awards and was recognised by the London Benchmarking Group as a global leader in community investment for the second year running. Teachers Mutual Bank's community investment of 4.1% of pre-tax profits is seven times higher than London Benchmarking Group’s (LBG) average for Australia and New Zealand in 2013, 12 times the finance services sector average and 2.4 times the Global LBG average.
About the World’s Most Ethical Companies
The World’s Most Ethical (WME) Companies designation recognises companies that truly go beyond making statements about doing business “ethically” and translate those words into action. WME honorees not only promote ethical business standards and practices internally, they exceed legal compliance minimums and shape future industry standards by introducing best practices today.
This year, a record 144 companies made the list, which includes more than 41 industries, from aerospace to wind power, with 38 of the WME winners headquartered outside the U.S.
The World's Most Ethical Company assessment is based upon the Ethisphere Institute’s Ethics Quotient™ framework. The Ethics Quotient framework has been developed over years of effort to provide a means to assess an organisation’s performance in an objective, consistent and standardised way. The Ethics Quotient framework and methodology was determined, vetted and refined by the expert advice and insights gleaned from Ethisphere’s network of thought leaders and from the World’s Most Ethical Company Methodology Advisory Panel.
Scores are generated in five key categories: ethics and compliance program (25%), reputation, leadership and innovation (20%), governance (10%), corporate citizenship and responsibility (25%) and culture of ethics (20%).
“It’s notoriously difficult to evaluate ethics at the corporate level; Ethisphere has identified the most important criteria for doing so.” – Thomas Donaldson, Professor, The Wharton School.