Aflac made the World's Most ethical list for the 6th year running (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

The Ethisphere Institute, an international think-tank dedicated to the creation, advancement and sharing of best practices in business ethics, corporate social responsibility, anti-corruption and sustainability, announced today the sixth annual selection of the World’s Most Ethical (WME) Companies, highlighting a record 145 organizations that show leadership in promoting ethical business standards.

This year’s list covers more than three dozen industries, from aerospace to wind power, with 43 of the WME winners headquartered outside the U.S.

Each 2012 honoree was chosen for promoting ethical business standards and practices by exceeding legal minimums for compliance, introducing innovative ideas that benefit the public and forcing their competitors to follow suit. They demonstrate how corporate citizenship is undoubtedly tied to the success of a company’s brand and bottom line.

The complete list of the 2012 World’s Most Ethical Companies can be found here.

Among the many honorees, Aflac stands out not only as a representative of the life and health industry, but also as one of the few companies that has been named to the World’s Most Ethical List for each of the six years the list has been released.

“We recognize that when it comes to purchasing insurance, a big part of the decision is based upon the consumer’s perception of a company as being trustworthy, transparent and ethical,” Aflac Chairman and CEO Dan Amos said. “Our products represent a promise to customers that we will be there in their times of need, so we are proud to be a World’s Most Ethical Company for a sixth straight year, because it sends a strong message from Ethisphere – the foremost authority on business ethics – that Aflac can be trusted.”

Financial Services
The Hartford Financial Services Group
Thrivent Financial for Lutherans

Healthcare Services 
Baptist Health South Florida
Hospital Corporation of America
Novation
Premier Inc
University Hospitals

Insurance: Brokerage 
Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. 

Insurance: Health 
Aflac Inc.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina
Blue Shield of California
Wisconsin Physicians Service Insurance Corporation