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Ethisphere’s Business Ethics Leadership Alliance (BELA) Membership Grows to Over 260 Enterprise Members in 2019, Reflecting Ongoing Desire by Leading Companies to Improve Corporate Integrity Programs

Google, Applied Materials, Unum, Covenant Health, Frontera Energy are among the latest to join the globally recognized organization aimed at promoting ethical leadership and world-class compliance cultures, bringing international membership to more than 260 members.

NEW YORK, March 6, 2019 (Newswire) – Ethisphere, a global leader in defining and advancing standards of ethical business practices, announced today that 12 new well-known companies and academic members have recently joined the more than 260 existing members of the Business Ethics Leadership Alliance (BELA).

This growth in membership rewards the community with new shared insights that enable organizations to support and challenge one another as they innovate to address risks, improve performance and place values and integrity at the center of all that they do. The complete list of new companies joining BELA includes:

  • Applied Materials
  • Amgen
  • AtriCure
  • Bon Secours Charity Health System
  • Covenant Health
  • FBLH Des Moines
  • Frontera Energy
  • Google
  • Principal Financial
  • Total Systems Services
  • Trinity Industries
  • Unum

Additionally, based upon continued demands from the community to connect with experts at academic institutions, Ethisphere is pleased to welcome the University of Northern Colorado and the University of Colorado Law School. In March, the University of St. Thomas also joined the growing ranks of academic institutions in BELA. This new immersion of academic involvement in the community provides institutions with the opportunity to leverage all Ethisphere content, data-driven insights and more into their curriculum and pedagogy, as well as share their own research and expertise with the community.

“The pace of growth experienced by BELA is an indication that the business ecosystem is in rapid transition like we have not seen before, where companies around the world, and regardless of size or industry, are reacting to consumers and stakeholders who are expecting companies to operate with integrity with exceptionally high values and standards,” said Kevin McCormack, Executive Director for BELA. “The connective tissue for this community is that it has long shared a commitment to these values and continues to grow because the support from their peers, combined with an unparalleled set of Ethisphere tools and resources, really does put these companies in a position to truly improve and take pride in how they are doing it.”

With more than 260 enterprise members representing 30 industries and headquartered in 15 different countries, the BELA community is an essential platform of connected leadership vital to helping companies improve standards and practices across both global and regional business ecosystems. Driven by a global desire to advance integrity and improve business performance, in 2017, BELA expanded to South Asia. The South Asia Chapter includes a community of 20 Founding Member organizations and “integrity partners” who have taken on a leadership role in inspiring best practices in ethics, integrity and anti-corruption efforts across India and South Asia. Applying a similar model, new chapter expansion has now reached Mexico and Latin America.

“Applied’s strong sense of purpose drives us as a company. From innovating to solve our customers’ high-value problems to making a difference in our communities, we are focused on building a better future. We are committed to operating with the highest ethical standards. We all play a role in safeguarding our reputation as a trusted business partner, and to do this we must hold fast to our foundational values of Responsibility and Integrity,” said Applied Materials Chief Executive Officer Gary Dickerson. “That’s why we are proud of our Generation Girl initiative, in which we are engaging with nonprofit organizations around the country to help girls gain the confidence skills, and opportunities they need to succeed in any path they choose, including tech. We are excited to share our experiences with the BELA community and to learn from the vast network of professionals involved.”

In addition to the in-house and external benefits of building trust, consistent research—including data gathered by Ethisphere—shows how organizations with a strong ethical culture regularly outperform their market peers. Each year, Ethisphere publishes data from its “Ethics Premium”study, which highlights the value of prioritizing a strong, innovative ethics program in an ever-changing business environment.

“Unum Group is proud to join BELA, as we recognize that having robust ethics and compliance programs is not just the right thing to do, but they bring business value and a competitive advantage to the table,” said John Garrison, Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer, Unum Group. “For over 170 years, we’ve worked hard to build a company that can be trusted to do the right thing, and we look forward to sharing and learning best practices and innovative approaches so we can continue to engage with our employees to advance a culture of integrity within our company and industry.”

“As a global financial services company, trust is essential to fulfilling our mission of helping people around the world to have enough, save enough and protect enough for their financial futures. Trust is also a vital component of our relationship with employees, investors, and other stakeholders,” Elizabeth (Betsy) Bandoli Happe, Senior Vice President and CCO, Corporate Ethics, Compliance & Investigations, Principal Financial Group said. “That’s why it’s important for us to live our ethical culture every day and why we’re excited to join Ethisphere’s BELA community. We look forward to the opportunity to interact and share best practices with leaders who value and demonstrate a similar culture of integrity.”

“As a company that provides the resources to power growth in Latin America, we understand our responsibility to the communities we serve, and we are ever-committed to conducting business safely, ethically, and in a socially and environmentally responsible manner,” said Frontera Energy General Counsel Andrew Kent. “The BELA community is a great global resource that we can use to ensure that we remain attuned to the latest innovations in corporate responsibility, ethics and compliance. Our goal is to support the sustainable growth and well-being of the communities we work in, respecting all our stakeholders. We believe our BELA membership will help us succeed.”

BELA members receive enterprise-wide access to a curated resource center with a catalog of member-contributed content showcasing the work of peers, research and analysis from over a decade of data gathered by Ethisphere, and special reports examining some of the more pivotal areas for compliance and ethics today. Companies such as MicrosoftCoca ColaLincoln Financial GroupAllstateMahindraNokiaStarbucksDellVF CorpU.S. BankHilton and more have shared multi-modal examples of how they are taking specific aspects of their programs to the next level and the practical steps being taken to improve.

In addition to these resources, members can download Ethisphere’s data-driven insights from the World’s Most Ethical Companies Insights Report series, special presentations, exclusive audio and video interviews, podcasts, webinars and more. The BELA community also has access to a robust portfolio of in-person summits, forums, and more than 35 peer-to-peer roundtables hosted by BELA member companies, held each year in major U.S. cities and a growing number of international markets, including India, Mexico, U.K., Singapore and Japan, serving as platforms for shared ideas and practical conversations on the most pressing challenges impacting compliance with a diverse set of leaders and stakeholders.

About BELA

Founded by Ethisphere, the Business Ethics Leadership Alliance (BELA) is a globally recognized organization of leading companies collaborating together to share best practices in governance, risk management, compliance and ethics. BELA’s membership has since grown to a large community of companies who recognize the inherent value of promoting ethical leadership and world-class compliance culture. Learn more about BELA by visiting To nominate a company to join BELA, contact Director of Member Engagement Sarah Neumann at [email protected]Academic institutions interested in aligning with the ranks of BELA member organizations should contact Kevin McCormack, Executive Director for BELA, at [email protected].

About Ethisphere 

The Ethisphere® Institute is the global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices that fuel corporate character, marketplace trust and business success. Ethisphere has deep expertise in measuring and defining core ethics standards using data-driven insights that help companies enhance corporate character. Ethisphere honors superior achievement through its World’s Most Ethical Companies® recognition program, provides a community of industry experts with the Business Ethics Leadership Alliance (BELA), and showcases trends and best practices in ethics with Ethisphere Magazine. Ethisphere also helps to advance business performance through data-driven assessments, benchmarking and guidance. More information about Ethisphere can be found at



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