This week's winners and loser come from the chemical industry. The winners are honored with an ethical title, while the loser is facing a lawsuit for contamination.
Ethisphere releases an annual list of the World's Most Ethical Companies, honoring businesses from various industries. Of the 131 companies on the 2016 list, several chemical companies made the list, including Eastman Chemical Company, Ecolab Inc. and 3M, among others.
The companies that make the cut are honored for "promoting ethical business standards and practices internally, enabling managers and employees to make good choices, and shaping future industry standards by introducing tomorrow’s best practices today," according to the website.
Frequently it seems as though chemical companies make the headlines based on negative news, such as spills, explosions or contamination. Therefore, it's a happy change of pace to provide the recognition to these companies that exemplify the best practices and ethical activity in the industry.
The city of Portland, Ore. unanimously decided to sue Monsanto Company for an alleged chemical contamination in the city's waterways. According to the lawsuit, Monsanto contaminated the Willamette River and other waterways when it distributed polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) through Portland harbor.
PCBs, which were banned in the late 1970s, were found to be dangerous to the environment and responsible for causing cancer. According to the city's attorney, Monsanto was aware of the risks associated with the chemical but coninued to sell PCBs, making a reported $22 million a year.
Portland's mayor, Charlie Hales, said the city has spent more than $1 billion cleaning up the Willamette River and the company should aid in the effort. Monsanto said in a statement that it was reviewing the lawsuit but that the company was not responsible for the costs, not only because it is a different company than it was before the ban, but also because when it manufactured the PCBs it did so legally.
Portland is one of seven cities suing Monsanto for chemical contamination.