COLUMBUS, Ohio – Columbia Gas of Ohio and its fellow NiSource Inc. (NI), companies have again been designated one of the World's Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute. Ethisphere is a leading international think-tank dedicated to the creation, advancement and sharing of best practices in business ethics, corporate social responsibility, anti-corruption and sustainability.
"Receiving this important designation yet again underscores our commitment to doing the right thing each and every day as we work to build North America's premier regulated energy company," NiSource president and chief executive officer Robert C. Skaggs Jr. said. "Our customers, employees, shareholders and other key stakeholders expect and deserve nothing less than the highest level of business ethics and corporate responsibility, and I'm proud to know that we are continuing to deliver on that commitment."
NiSource is one of 140 companies worldwide recognized by Ethisphere for leadership in promoting ethical business standards as measured by four specific categories: Ethics and Compliance Programs; Reputation, Leadership and Innovation; Governance; and Corporate Citizenship and Responsibility.
"Not only did more companies apply for the World's Most Ethical Companies recognition this year than any year in the past, which demonstrates that ethical activity is an important part of many of these companies' business models, but we are also seeing more companies be proactive and create new initiatives that expand ethics programs and cultures across entire industries, such as industry-based ethics associations and other activities," said Alex Brigham, executive director of Ethisphere. "We are excited to see the 2013 World's Most Ethical Companies take these leadership positions, and embrace the correlation between ethical behavior and improved financial performance."
The NiSource Code of Business Conduct is the foundation of the NiSource Ethics and Compliance Program, and is designed to provide guidance on how to apply the company's Core Values and Principles to maintain high standards of business conduct. NiSource's Code of Business Conduct is available on the Corporate Governance Section of NiSource.com.
More on the NiSource's commitment to ethics and compliance, as well as the company's overall corporate sustainability priorities can be found in the 2011 Sustainability Report available at NiSource.com/sustainability. The 2012 report will be published later this year.
Ethisphere's Selection Process
Through in-depth research and a multi-step analysis, Ethisphere reviewed a record number of nominations from companies in more than 100 countries and 36 industries. The methodology for the World's Most Ethical Companies includes reviewing codes of ethics, litigation and regulatory infraction histories; evaluating the investment in innovation and sustainable business practices; looking at activities designed to improve corporate citizenship; and studying nominations from senior executives, industry peers, suppliers and customers.
Read about the methodology and view the complete list of the 2013 World's Most Ethical Companies at Ethisphere.com/wme. The World's Most Ethical Companies will also be featured in the first quarter 2013 issue of the quarterly magazine Ethisphere.
About Columbia Gas of Ohio
Columbia Gas of Ohio safely delivers clean and efficient natural gas to approximately 1.4 million customers in 61 of Ohio’s 88 counties. With headquarters in Columbus, it is one of the seven energy distribution companies of NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI) and is the largest natural gas utility in the state. More information about Columbia Gas of Ohio is available at www.ColumbiaGasOhio.com. Be sure to call 811 at least two business days before you dig. For information about natural gas safety and what to do if you suspect a gas leak, go to: SafeGasOhio.org.
NiSource Inc. (NI), based in Merrillville, Ind., is a Fortune 500 company engaged in natural gas transmission, storage and distribution, as well as electric generation, transmission and distribution. Designated as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies in 2012 and 2013, NiSource operating companies deliver energy to 3.8 million customers located within the high-demand energy corridor stretching from the Gulf Coast through the Midwest to New England. Information about NiSource and its subsidiaries is available via the Internet at NiSource.com.
About Ethisphere Institute:
The research-based Ethisphere® Institute is a leading international think-tank dedicated to the creation, advancement and sharing of best practices in business ethics, corporate social responsibility, anti-corruption and sustainability. Ethisphere Magazine, which publishes the globally recognized World's Most Ethical Companies Ranking™, is the quarterly publication of the Institute. Ethisphere provides the only third-party verifications of compliance programs and ethical cultures that include: Ethics Inside® Certification, Compliance Leader Verification™ and Anti-Corruption Program Verification™. The Institute's premier membership group, the Business Ethics Leadership Alliance™, is a business ethics forum that includes more than 100 leading corporations, universities and institutions that collectively leverage their experience, expertise and innovative ways to address emerging compliance challenges. More information on the Ethisphere Institute, including ranking projects and membership, can be found at Ethisphere.com.