How long has Ethisphere recognized companies as ‘world’s most ethical’?

When is the deadline for nominations and/or completed questionnaires?

How do I access/receive the Ethics Quotient (EQTM) questionnaire?

Can I nominate another company?

Who can complete the EQ questionnaire?

Can I download the EQ questionnaire before completing it online? I’d like to make sure that I have all the information.

Can any company participate?

Are there different criteria for companies of different industries or sizes?

Are there different criteria for private organizations and non-profits?

Can I submit additional documents both in hard copy and/or digitally?

When are supporting materials and documentation due?

Will you be verifying the information provided by nominees?

When will we know if we’ve made the list or not?

Will my responses be confidential or my EQ score made public?

Will you provide any report or analysis to a participating company?

I want a more in-depth analysis of my performance with more detailed benchmarking. How can I get it?

Is there an awards ceremony or dinner to announce or honor the World’s Most Ethical Companies?

What other information is required to complete the EQ questionnaire?

What if our company is nominated by a third party?

Does past performance affect future results (i.e., are past winners advantaged in any way)?

Are there specific criteria (e.g., compliance, governance, CSR) Ethisphere considers during the evaluation process?

I feel that some of the questions have response selections that do not precisely reflect our situation. Can I provide additional clarification?

Does each question carry the same weighting?

Is there another way you’re communicating this information to interested organizations?

Is there a fee to participate?

Are there other fees associated with being a World’s Most Ethical Company?

How may I use the World’s Most Ethical Company logo if I’m honored?

What does Ethisphere do to create a community where honorees can communicate?

How does Ethisphere derive its revenue?

Does an organization’s business relationship with Ethisphere affect its selection as a World’s Most Ethical Company?


How long has Ethisphere recognized companies as ‘world’s most ethical’?
2015 will be the ninth year that Ethisphere has been recognizing companies that take their statements about ‘doing business ethically’ to the next step by translating those words into actions. Honorees not only promote ethical business standards and practices internally, they exceed legal compliance minimums and shape future industry standards by introducing best practices today. In 2014 Ethisphere honored 144 organizations from 41 industries representing 21 countries and 5 continents; 38 of the 144 organizations are headquartered outside the US.

When is the deadline for nominations and/or completed questionnaires?
Nominations for the 2015 World’s Most Ethical Companies recognition are now open. The 2015 questionnaire will be sent to all nominees beginning September 15, 2014. The deadline to receive all questionnaire responses and supporting documentation is December 15, 2014.

How do I access/receive the Ethics Quotient (EQTM) questionnaire?
To receive the questionnaire, you must nominate your company through the WME Nomination page.  Survey links are not automatically sent upon submission.  You will receive a custom URL within 48 hours of submitting your nomination.  Those already nominated will receive their information on September 15.

Can I nominate another company?
Yes. Be sure to include contact details for that company.

Who can complete the EQ questionnaire?
Any authorized representative of an organization who has sufficient knowledge of the company and its compliance, ethics, governance and corporate social responsibility initiatives, or sufficient access to individuals that can provide the appropriate information. Typically, the individuals with leadership or oversight responsibility for the legal, compliance, ethics sustainability or corporate communications functions submit questionnaires on behalf of their companies.

Can I download the EQ questionnaire before completing it online? I’d like to make sure that I have all the information.
Yes, when the questionnaire is released it will be available for download prior to completing the survey online. You may wish to familiarize yourself with the questions before completing the survey online. You may also find it useful to have a copy of the questionnaire completed well in advance of the submission deadline in order to collect or coordinate any information that may be necessary to obtain from other stakeholders within the organization. Inconsistent and/or incomplete responses are not going to benefit company scores. Periodically the questionnaire is reviewed for relevancy and updated best practices.

Can any company participate?
Yes. Any organization, public or private, large or small, for-profit or not-for- profit, U.S. or foreign-based is eligible to participate. All organizations that submit a survey will receive an analysis that provides their overall Ethics Quotient and how their responses to each of the 5 categories and to key questions compares to those who are honored as 2015 World’s Most Ethical Companies are included.

Are there different criteria for companies of different industries or sizes?
A company’s industry, size, geographic location, etc. is taken into consideration during the review process.

Are there different criteria for private organizations and non-profits?
We understand that practices can be different for public, private and non-profit organizations. The survey includes questions that are specifically addressed to public companies and they are noted as such.  Private organizations and non-profits are not penalized for not adhering to certain guidelines that are expected for public companies.  However, all organizations must demonstrate that their policies, procedures and practices are best-in-class for their specific organization type.

Can I submit additional documents both in hard copy and/or digitally?
Submitting additional documentation to support your nomination is highly recommended.  The documentation we encourage typically includes what might not be publicly available, e.g. compliance and ethics policies, recent training and communication plans, samples of training and/or communication materials, program reports,  conflict of interest certification forms, high level organization chart showing reporting lines, etc. Companies may redact information from these documents where appropriate. Details regarding what materials are expected and how to submit them will be provided along with your custom URL and survey.

When are supporting materials and documentation due?
All materials must be received in our Scottsdale AZ office on or before December 15, 2014.

Will you be verifying the information provided by nominees?
Yes. Questionnaire scoring results in an initial “self-reported” EQ score. This is a starting point for the selection process.  Supporting documentation is then reviewed to ensure that candidates receive proper credit for good performance.

The review process may also include multiple means of independent verification on an as-needed basis that may include additional research, request for additional documentation and/or interviews with company leadership. We conduct reputational and legal reviews to determine any outstanding or historical issues as well. EQ scores are often adjusted based on documentation review and independent research.

Each candidate then receives a “validated” score that may be higher or lower than the initial “self-reported” score.  Note that if we are unable to verify certain aspects of your self-reported performance, the resulting scores may be discounted.

For additional guidance on supplemental documentation, download the guide here.

When will we know if we’ve made the list or not?
The primary and media contacts designated in your questionnaire will be notified on or about February 1, 2015.  This is true for those who are honored as well as for those who are not honored.  Ethisphere will publicly announce via press release the names of those who are honored on March 9, 2015.  Scorecards will be sent to all those who complete questionnaires in mid-March, 2015.

Will my responses be confidential or my EQ score made public?
Names of companies who are not honored are not disclosed.  Individual responses are not made public.  Scores will only be used to calculate EQs and/or provide a report or analysis to your company.  We may also use EQ scores in an aggregated or anonymized fashion for benchmarking and research purposes.

Will you provide any report or analysis to a participating company?
Yes, all participating organizations will receive a high-level analysis with their overall Ethics Quotient and how their five category scores and responses to key questions compare to those who are honored as 2015 World’s Most Ethical Companies.

I want a more in-depth analysis of my performance with more detailed benchmarking. How can I get it?
Ethisphere offers a range of premium analytical and benchmarking services to participating organizations. Please contact us to learn more.

Is there an awards ceremony or dinner to announce or honor the World’s Most Ethical Companies?
Yes, there will be an awards celebration! The companies listed as the World’s Most Ethical Companies will be announced on March 9, 2015 at a gala dinner the night before the Global Ethics Summit in NYC.  Additional information and details regarding the dinner will be available in November, 2014.

What other information is required to complete the EQ questionnaire?
The name and full contact details for the following individuals is required: (1) the primary contact for all information regarding your submission, (2) the media contact who will be responsible for helping to communicate the honor, if selected, (3) the Chief Compliance Officer (or highest ranking individual responsible for compliance in your organization), (4) head of Corporate Communications, and (5) General Counsel.  This information is mandatory for all submissions.

What if our company is nominated by a third party?
We do accept third party nominations. Nominated companies will be contacted directly by an Ethisphere staff member requesting that someone from the company with sufficient knowledge of relevant areas complete the online questionnaire.

Does past performance affect future results (i.e., are past winners advantaged in any way)?
Past winners are given no inherent advantage throughout the process over non-winners or companies applying for the first time. Typically, companies that have participated in the questionnaire in previous years (both winners and non-winners) are more familiar with the process and are therefore more aptly prepared when it comes to completing the questionnaire.

Are there specific criteria (e.g., compliance, governance, CSR) Ethisphere considers during the evaluation process?
Yes. The main evaluation categories are: Corporate Citizenship and Responsibility; Ethics and Compliance Program; Corporate Governance; Leadership, Innovation and Reputation; and Culture of Ethics. Please refer to the WME Methodology page for more detailed information on the categories and their weighting in the evaluation process.

I feel that some of the questions have response selections that do not precisely reflect our situation. Can I provide additional clarification?
As expected with standardized multiple choice questions, you should choose the answer that best fits your organizational situation. We have done our best to provide a wide range of plausible choices for most questions. We encourage you to provide executive summaries and narratives with the documentation that you submit.  You may also enter comments at the end of the questionnaire. Additional information is provided along with the survey.

Does each question carry the same weighting?
No. The scoring of each question varies based on its importance and relevance.

Is there another way you’re communicating this information to interested organizations?
You may attend our live webcast on Friday, September 12, 2014 at 1 PM ET (register now).

Is there a fee to participate?
Yes, beginning this year there will be a processing fee to cover the administrative costs of gathering and analyzing the data and providing the analytical scorecard. The fees in US dollars are: non-profits (of all sizes) – $500; for-profit organizations with corporate revenue less than $500 million – $1,000; for-profit organizations with corporate revenue equal to or greater than $500 million – $1,500.

Are there other fees associated with being a World’s Most Ethical Company?
There are no additional fees to be honored or to communicate either internally or externally that you’ve achieved this designation. However, companies who wish to use the 2015 World’s Most Ethical Company logo must license the logo.

How may I use the World’s Most Ethical Company logo if I’m honored?
Honorees may not develop their own logo using the World’s Most Ethical Company name.  However, if honored, companies may elect to license the 2015 World’s Most Ethical Company logo. Fees vary depending on company size and type. We’ve seen companies utilize the logo on their websites, annual and CSR reports, invoices and email signature lines, recruitment websites, job postings, posters, outdoor signage, coffee mugs and more. We encourage organizations to work with their corporate communications teams to maximize awareness both inside and outside their organizations, and align this with other initiatives and “C”-level communications. Ethisphere provides Branding Guidelines and communication examples to assist in this process.

What does Ethisphere do to create a community where honorees can communicate?
Ethisphere has a portal community featuring branding guidelines, examples of how others are using the recognition to increase awareness, a directory of other honorees to increase networking, and more. Additionally, Ethisphere hosts frequent webcasts where community members share ideas and best practices.

How does Ethisphere derive its revenue?
Ethisphere receives revenue from conferences, event sponsorships, subscriptions to publications, advertising, membership groups and licensing.  No company that is honored with the World’s Most Ethical Company designation is responsible for more than 1.5% of Ethisphere’s revenue.  And no honoree may place advertising in the issue of Ethisphere magazine that announces and highlights new honorees.

Does an organization’s business relationship with Ethisphere affect its selection as a World’s Most Ethical Company?
There is no connection between the two.  Organizations are honored for their programs, practices and policies as measured by the methodology set forth above.