“World’s Best Multinational Workforces” Includes Companies That Make Unhealthy Products

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The “2013 World’s Best Multinational Workforces” report has just been released by the Great Place to Work organization. Among the list of the top 25 companies are several that make products that medical experts and government health care officials have claimed are hazards to people’s health. These companies may be good places to work, but they are not good places from which to buy products.

Diageo PLC (NYSE: DEO) is ranks in eighth place. People cannot visit its corporate website without filling out a form to show that they are old enough to drink. The company’s major brands are hard liquors — Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, Smirnoff and Tanqueray among them. The site also has a section called “Drinking Responsibly: It’s A Global Thing.” Except for those who drink too much.

Mars is 22nd on the list. It makes some of the world’s most calorie- and sugar-laden candy and chocolate products. Among these are M&Ms, Three Musketeers, Snickers and Milky Way. The site has a section that says:

Beyond purchasing certified cocoa, we are working hard to improve the sustainability of farming practices and the livelihoods of farmers. Our blog, http://www.cocoasustainability.com, communicates our work in this area in 2011. Equally, our Associates are getting involved in our efforts to improve the sustainability of our operations.

The part about candy’s contribution to obesity gets left out.

Twenty-third on the list is McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD), which has two strikes against it. One is that its has been attacked for paying it workers such small sums that many can barely live above the poverty line. The other is that its food is full of fat and high in calories. Among its menu items is the Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese — only 750 calories, with 43 grams of fat and 1,280 mg of sodium.

Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) ranks 24th on the list. The company is one of the world’s largest producers of sugar-based drinks. Coke’s website even has a section called “Our Commitment to Fight Obesity.” The only way to do that effectively is to stop making Coke.

“2013 World’s Best Multinational Workforces” may be a perfect list of great places to work, as long as the workers at some of these companies do not use the products their employers make.