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Two New Jersey companies on the list of world's most ethical companies

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The annual list of the world's most ethical companies is out. And two Jersey heavyweights are on it again.

Dun & Bradstreet (Short Hills) and Realogy Holdings (Madison) were both among 144 companies honored by the Ethisphere Institute, a management consulting firm in Scottsdale, Ariz., which compiles the list.

It's the sixth straight year Dun & Bradstreet has made the list; it's the third consecutive year for Realogy.

The World's Most Ethical Company assessment is based upon the Ethisphere Institute's Ethics Quotient framework, the group said.

Scores are generated in five categories: ethics and compliance program (25 percent), corporate citizenship and responsibility (25 percent), reputation, leadership and innovation (20 percent), governance (10 percent), and culture of ethics (20 percent).

Dun & Bradstreet Chief Executive Bob Carrigan said the honor recognizes how the company does business.

"This recognition speaks to the commitment among all D&B employees to serve customers, partners, investors and communities with the highest standards of integrity, while meeting our business obligations," he said in a release.

Realogy Chief Executive Richard Smith was equally thrilled.

"Ethics is the cornerstone of our company culture, and we are continuously striving to enhance our ethics and compliance program as part of our ongoing commitment to conducting business with integrity," he said in a release.

Tim Erblich, CEO of the Ethisphere Institute, said it can be difficult for companies to maintain their ethical standards.

"In today's complex global economy, it can be increasingly challenging for companies to meet performance expectations, while addressing the varying regulatory, compliance and sustainability needs across geographies and cultures," he said. "Global economic and social challenges from anti-corruption to security and privacy are accelerating the need for companies and organizations to embrace ethics and governance as critical business imperatives.

"Failure to establish the highest ethical business standards and practices throughout an organization can result in unacceptable consequences that include both human impacts and operational risks. These organizations have taken this challenge head on and recognize that leading ethical business practices present an unprecedented opportunity to deliver significant tangible and intangible organizational benefits."

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