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Idealswork.Com Introduces "Titans Of Enron Economy" To Socially Responsible Consumers

Submitted by: IdealsWork, Inc.

Categories: Business Ethics

Posted: Aug 20, 2002 – 12:00 AM EST

 

Consumers May Now Consider Companies' "Enron-Like" Practices When Shopping

Aug. 20 /CSRwire/ - Portland, Maine - IdealsWork.com (www.idealswork.com), a new online research and shopping site that allows consumers to weigh the social responsibility of companies and brands before making their purchasing decisions, announced today that it has reached agreement with United for a Fair Economy (UFE) to include UFE research on its site. The research, summarized in UFE's recent publication, Titans of the Enron Economy: The Ten Habits of Highly Defective Corporations, identifies companies whose "Enron-like" practices make them questionable repositories of consumer and investor confidence.

The new information being made available to consumers through IdealsWork.com is based on UFE's 'Top 100" worst corporate offenders in a range of categories that include:

· Excessive CEO compensation
· Employee layoffs
· Political campaign contributions
· Lobbying expenditures
· Corporate tax avoidance
· Excessive 401K plan investments in company stock
· Dual consulting and auditing work from same accounting firm

"These are the big players in the Enron economy," says Scott Klinger, co-director of UFE's Responsible Wealth project and co-author of Titans of the Enron Economy. "Among them are the companies who most egregiously overpay their executives and undervalue their employees, the companies who curry political favor through large campaign contributions and lobbying expenditures, and the companies who try to avoid paying their fair share of taxes."

IdealsWork.com allows consumers to shop and compare brands on the basis of companies' records on issues that include diversity, the environment, labor practices, women's issues and human rights. The site provides consumers with ratings of thousands of brands, personalized according to their individual concerns and value preferences. An individual's personalized ratings and search results are then linked to merchants and one-click communication to companies, providing a convenient way for users not only to purchase products but also to register their concerns (or support) via direct feedback to companies.

"Until now, information on companies' social and environmental records has only been available to the investment community, and has been used primarily by socially responsible investors," said Dan Porter, co-CEO and Chief Strategist of IdealsWork. "IdealsWork.com has made this information conveniently available to consumers for the first time. Now, through our partnership with UFE, we are providing important additional information on corporate accountability that we think consumers want in the aftermath of Enron and recent corporate scandals."

IdealsWork.com's search engine includes data from one of the largest databases on corporate responsibility in the world, assembled from highly respected research organizations like the Investor Responsibility Research Center (IRRC). A wide range of products and services are available through the site, including health and beauty supplies, clothing and accessories, home and garden items, tools and hardware, computers and electronics, office supplies, automotive, travel, music, toys, games and pets supplies. Shoppers can buy from an impressive list of merchants that includes Gaiam, Dell, Office Depot, Sony, Timberland, REI, Green Marketplace, and Expedia.

IdealsWork.com also dedicates a portion of revenues to charity. Each purchase made through the site generates a commission paid by participating merchants, a portion of which is shared with charities and non-profits chosen by the site's individual members.

"A nearsighted focus on share price and quarterly earnings often blurs the long-term consequences of business practices," says IdealsWork's Porter. "Our approach is to make social, environmental and corporate accountability issues show up on companies' short-term radar, by directly tying a company's record on those issues to its sales and business success. We are trying to eliminate the choice businesses face between doing the right thing and doing the profitable thing " by making them one and the same."

The Responsible Wealth Project of United for a Fair Economy is a national network of businesspeople, investors and affluent Americans concerned about deepening economic inequality, working to create more widespread prosperity. It works primarily in the areas of tax fairness, corporate responsibility and living wages.

For more information about IdealsWork, contact www.idealswork.com. For more information about United for a Fair Economy, its Responsible Wealth project, and its "Titans of the Enron Economy" report contact www.FairEconomy.org.

For more information, please contact:

Dan Porter IdealsWork.com
Phone: (207) 773-2333
Scott Klinger The Responsible Wealth Project of United for a Fair Economy
Phone: (617) 423-2148

 

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