World’s Most Ethical Companies®
Setting the Standard for Ethical Business
By The Numbers
5 Year Ethics Premium
Congratulations to this Year’s Honorees!
In 2023, Ethisphere recognized 135 companies for their unwavering commitment to business integrity.Below are the six organizations that have earned the title every year since the inception of the award, a total of 17 years.
THE ETHICS PREMIUM
Strong Ethics Are Good For Business
Over the past 17 years, we’ve tracked the World’s Most Ethical Companies® as they outperformed peers and competitors, demonstrating a link between ethical behavior and financial performance. We call this link the Ethics Premium.
Becoming One of the World’s Most Ethical Companies
How We Measure Success
The journey to the World’s Most Ethical Companies starts with a qualitative and quantitative assessment across five categories. This proprietary rating system, known as the Ethics Quotient® (EQ), is at the heart of the selection process for this prestigious honor. Featuring more than 240 multiple-choice and text questions, the EQ framework evaluates a company’s performance in an objective, consistent, and standardized way.
All applicants to the World’s Most Ethical Companies receive their overall EQ score and scores across the five categories as compared against the honorees. These insights – and access to the resources, guidance, and contextual expertise in The Sphere – offers tremendous value for improving ethics and compliance programs.
Third Party Management
- Supply chain onboarding, engagement and oversight
- Monitoring and performance evaluation
- Governance Principals
- Risk Management
Environmental & Societal Impact
- Sustainability, citizenship and social responsibility
- Environment stewardship
- Community Involvement
- Corporate Involvement
- Corporate Philanthropy
- Workplace impact and well-being
Culture of Ethics
- Efforts to establish ethical tone from top to middle
- Frequency with which culture is elevated
- Methods and outcomes
Ethics & Compliance Program
- Program structure, responsibility, and resources
- Program oversight and tone at the top
- Written standards, training and communication
- Detection, monitoring, auditing and risk assessments
- Enforcement and discipline
Frequently Asked Questions
Find answers to your questions about the World’s Most Ethical Companies award and how you can start building your legacy of ethical behavior to join their ranks.
In 2006, Ethisphere launched the World’s Most Ethical Companies recognition program to measure and showcase the superior achievements of organizations that are committed to doing business with ethics and integrity. The process is rigorous and objective. It includes a 200-point assessment, documentation review, and research into an organization’s reputation and ethical practices. The process itself provides a way for organizations to assess their own programs against leading practices. World’s Most Ethical Companies honorees also enjoy recognition of their exceptional ethics and compliance programs. Ethisphere also broadly shares the World’s Most Ethical Companies data to help all organizations understand and improve programs.
This is the 17th year Ethisphere has honored organizations with the designation of World’s Most Ethical Companies.
Yes. We evaluate an organization’s (i) Ethics and Compliance Program, (ii) Culture of Ethics, (iii) Corporate Citizenship and Responsibility, (iv) Governance, and (v) Leadership and Reputation. Each category is evaluated through a combination of answers to our Ethics Quotient (EQ) questionnaire, submitted supplemental documentation, and where necessary, independent research and follow up with a candidate. Evaluation of the Leadership and Reputation category also includes a review of publicly available information with a bearing on an organization’s reputation for acting ethically (e.g., public filings, regulatory activity, media review).
An organization’s final Ethics Quotient (EQ) score is evaluated relative to those of its peers within the context of its structure, size, and operating environment. Those organizations demonstrating the strongest application across our methodology receive the designation of being one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies. As applicant organizations come from a variety of industries with significant differences in regulatory and operating environments, the overall EQ score is used to understand an organization’s performance in context of similar organizations, not to set a floor. However, reputation and legal issues are carefully evaluated. Receiving a materially deficient score in the category of Leadership and Reputation will prevent an organization from being selected as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies.
Completing the World’s Most Ethical Companies process is considered to be extremely valuable by past participants, regardless of the recognition that may or may not come from it. The application process enables organizations to understand the elements of an effective program and to also compare their approach to leading practices. It also provides opportunities for ethics and compliance teams to collaborate with other key stakeholders across business functions and work together to answer certain questions.
Upon completing the process, applicants receive a scorecard which outlines their evaluation scores as they compare to honorees. Companies have found this information to be valuable for establishing priorities, celebrating their strengths, building a business case for additional budget, and focusing their teams. The scorecard also includes exclusive data and insights only available to applicants, and links to valuable, curated resources to help improve their programs.
Applicants who are BELA members also receive a scorecard with exclusive insights and data comparing their scores to those of honorees, along with a more in-depth benchmarking that provides further insights and guidance.
Applicants with exceptional program elements may also be selected to be featured in Ethisphere Magazine and other Ethisphere platforms, such as our Global Ethics Summit.
Whether an organization applies or not, a robust ethics and compliance program is good business. Our years of data shows that those with strong programs in place outperform, which we call the Ethics Premium. Investors understand this, and importantly, employees, customers and other stakeholders value working with organizations rooted in integrity.