Rio Tinto ranked second for ‘Best EthicalQuote Score' in a list of the top ten of twenty multinational companies in the mining and metals sector, compiled by Covalence. Geneva-based Covalence publishes a quarterly ethical reputation ranking, giving the best ranked companies as well as those companies which have made the most progress each quarter. Covalence ranks the top ten performing companies in the following categories: Best EthicalQuote Score (positive minus negative news, cumulated from 2002 to 30 September 2008), Best Ethical Progress (positive minus negative news, cumulated from 1 July to 30 September 2008) and Best Reported Performance (positive news only, 1 July to 30 September 2008).
Covalence' s ethical quotation system is a reputation index based on quantifying qualitative data, which are classified according to 45 criteria such as Labour standards, Waste management, Product social utility or Human rights policy. It is a barometer of how multinationals are perceived in the ethical field. The system integrates thousands of documents found among media, enterprise, NGO and other sources, for producing the EthicalQuote curves. These curves measure the historical evolution of the reputation of companies regarding ethical issues.
Best EthicalQuote Score and Best EthicalQuote Progress are given by confronting positive and negative news. Best Reported Performance is calculated by quantifying positive news only - it shows how companies report on their ethical performance without considering criticisms and demands. Some companies being highly targeted by activists have a low EthicalQuote Score while at the same time ranking high in terms of Reported Performance. We can assume that ‘ethical demands' (negative news i.e. stakeholder issues, campaigns, expectations) stimulate ‘ethical offers' (positive news i.e. initiatives, reporting, communication by companies).