By Bill Prachar, firstname.lastname@example.org
For the seventh year in a row, WM has been named as one of the world’s most ethical companies
by the Ethisphere Institute. Ethisphere chooses the annual honorees by looking at a company’s ethics
and compliance program, its reputation, its internal governance, its social responsibility and its culture
of ethics. WM shares the 2014 honor with a small group of other fine companies in a broad range of industries.
Being recognized as a “most ethical company” reflects well on WM, but more importantly on all of us. A
company is only “ethical” when its employees, managers and directors are ethical. By behaving in an
ethical and compliant manner we have each contributed to the 2014 award.
Probably the most important Ethisphere criteria, and the most difficult to evaluate, is a company’s “culture of
ethics.” As individual employees working for WM, do we understand that we are expected to make the right choice
when faced with an ethical or compliance decision, and just as important, will we respect and support others in the
company who do the same thing? I think in large part we’ve achieved that culture at WM, but it is tested every day.
The Ethisphere honor reminds us of our responsibility to always follow our ethical compass while working in a
stressful, highly competitive business environment.
We should also take pride in the fact that a third party has recognized our sustained efforts in the area of
environmental stewardship. However, we haven’t focused on this behavior to win awards. Rather, we’ve done
so because it is the right thing for a company in our business to do. Again, it is all of you, the people of WM
dedicated to protecting and sustaining the environment, who can take credit for, and pride in, the Ethisphere recognition.
The Ethisphere honor is significant, but with it comes the great responsibility to live up to the accolade on a daily
basis. The problem with ethics is that ultimately we’re only as good as our last ethical decision. If we fail in this
daily responsibility, the honor won’t mean much. The battle to build and sustain an ethical and compliant culture
is never over. We can pause to pat ourselves on the back for outside recognition, but we should use the Ethisphere
honor to recommit to living up to our core values and our reputation on a daily basis.