'World's Most Ethical Companies' Revealed . / Credit: Dreamstime.com

Turns out successful businesses aren't concerned only with their bottom line. At least that is the case for companies like Aflac, American Express,  General Electric, Patagonia and Starbucks. Those companies and 18 others have made the list of the World's Most Ethical Companies for the sixth straight year. 

In all, 145 companies from around the world appear on this year's list.

Ethisphere Institute, which compiled the list, says it based its rankings on the following factors: ethics and compliance programs; reputation, leadership and innovation; governance; corporate citizenship and responsibility; and culture of ethics.

 Notable companies on this year's list included:

[World's Most Innovative Companies Named]

  • Gap Inc.
  • Timberland
  • Ford Motor Company
  • Microsoft
  • eBay Inc.
  • Waste Management
  • PepsiCo
  • Kellogg Company
  • Target
  • Best Buy
  • Cisco
  • UPS

The complete list can be found at the Ethisphere website.

"Each year the competition for 'World's Most Ethical Companies' intensifies as the number of nominations submitted for consideration grows," said Alex Brigham, executive director of Ethisphere. "This year's winners know that a strong ethics program is a key component to a successful business model, and they continue to scrutinize their ethical standards to keep up with an ever-changing regulatory environment."

Reach BusinessNewsDaily staff writer David Mielach at Dmielach@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @D_M89.