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Set the Standard for Ethical Business

Are you one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies®?

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 243 multiple-choice and text questions, the Ethics Quotient framework evaluates a company’s performance in an objective, consistent, and standardized way. 

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Our Evaluation Framework

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. 

WHY APPLY TO BECOME ONE OF THE WORLD'S MOST ETHICAL COMPANIES? ​

Evaluate your organization using our EQ questionnaire outlining best-in-class standards across five key evaluation areas.

Gain Value from the Process

Identify strengths and opportunities throughout the application process, and validate your perspective at the end with a scorecard comparing your practices against the honoree averages.
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Accelerate Collaboration

Deliberately designed by Ethisphere to require cross-functional input, use the process to open up collaborative opportunities across your organization and build stronger relationships focused on a better future.
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Satisfy Stakeholders

Validate your commitment to integrity to employees, customers, investors, and others who value ethical business practices.



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Keep Improving

Experience guest access in The Sphere to benchmark, analyze and gain access to guidance through valuable resources to help implement change.


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HONOREE APPLICATION PROCESS

1

THE SURVEY

Review the EQ questionnaire survey, collect responses from appropriate parties, and submit online.

2

DOCUMENTATION GUIDELINES

Review the Guidance on Supporting Documentation, gather documents, and submit them via the online portal.

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3

PROCESSING FEE

Submit the application fee, which partially offsets the work involved in reviewing each application

4

BENCHMARK SCORES

At the end, compare your practices in The Sphere to benchmark, analyze and gain access to guidance.

Why Invest in Business Integrity?

Strong Ethics Make for Good Business.

Over the past 18 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. 

This outperformance is the result of the kinds of practices that lead a company to be recognized –investments in their people, culture, and communities. 

BUILDING VALUE, RECEIVING VALIDATION

Hear From Previous Honorees

What does it mean to receive World’s Most Ethical Companies designation? For many honorees, it is the highest level of external validation for a years-long campaign to develop best-in-class business integrity practices. It sends a clear message to everyone, from internal stakeholders and partners to clients and the public that an organization has dedicated itself to promoting a strong ethical culture that builds value for everyone.

Clarios

Deborah Spanic, VP and Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer

"I highly recommend that companies go through the World’s Most Ethical Companies application process. Even if you don’t achieve the honor, going through that benchmarking and seeing where your program stacks up against those that are considered to be at the top of their game is a fantastic way to gauge the things that you need to focus on, or that you might want to consider for your program.”

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

Paul Cash, General Counsel

“I would say to a first-time company, use the World’s Most Ethical Companies application process to reflect on the work you may need to do, where your opportunities are, and hold yourself accountable. Even if you are not honored, applying is such a rewarding process. It will help to make your program better, which will allow you to make a bigger impact on your communities and the world.”

Hasbro, Inc.

Kathrin Belliveau, EVP & Chief Purpose Officer

“I think that for any company that is seriously committed to ethics, operating responsibly, and sustainability for their stakeholders, the process and the methodology of World’s Most Ethical Companies is best in class. I would highly recommend it to companies that are looking to start an ethics and compliance program and for companies that have been at it for a long time and want to see how they can improve.”

FedEx Corporation

Justin Ross, Chief Compliance Officer

“Our customers ask us about our compliance program all the time. … And these aren’t one-off, easy conversations. These are in-depth presentations with our big customers around what we’re doing on ethics and compliance. When we get the World’s Most Ethical Companies honor, our customers see that. And that makes them comfortable to do business with FedEx.”

we’re here to answer all your questions

The 2024 announcement will mark the 18th year we have honored organizations with this designation.   

Applicants are evaluated based on their (i) Ethics and Compliance Program, (ii) Culture of Ethics, (iii) Corporate Citizenship and Responsibility, (iv) Governance, and (v) Third Party Management. Each category is evaluated through a combination of answers to our Ethics Quotient® (EQ) questionnaire and submitted supplemental documentation. The Ethisphere team will also conduct independent research into an organization’s reputation and litigation history and, where necessary, will follow up with a candidate. A company’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.  

Any organization, public or private, for-profit or not-for-profit, U.S. or foreign based, is eligible to participate in the process and be considered for designation as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies. That said, the Ethics Quotient questionnaire and peer group is generally designed for those organizations with over $250 million in revenue. This does not mean that smaller organizations cannot benefit from the process or be designated as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies, but rather that our process is not suitable for many smaller companies unless they have the type of programs in place typically seen at larger companies. Please note that while our process has broad eligibility requirements, non-profit colleges and universities, governments, governmental agencies, government majority owned organizations, and NGOs are not eligible. If you have a question regarding eligibility, please contact Ethisphere here: Contact Us  

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, validate your perspective, and to also compare their approach to leading practices. The application is intentionally developed to open 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 Digital Analytical Scorecard which outlines their evaluation scores as they compare to honorees. Organizations 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 experience guest access in The Sphere to benchmark, analyze and gain access to exclusive insights and data comparing their scores to those of honorees, along with a more in-depth benchmarking that provides further best practices and guidance. 
 

Applicants who are Business Ethics Leadership Alliance (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 Ethicast, Ethisphere’s Official Podcast, and 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.

Resources

Applying for the World’s Most Ethical Companies application is part of a much deeper commitment to developing and maintaining a robust culture of ethics, compliance program, governance, and more.  At your disposal is a vast library of helpful resources that showcase best practices in business integrity, what past honorees have considered the most important parts of their quest for excellence, and helpful insights from Ethisphere’s own subject matter experts on what the latest trends and expectations are and where you can go to best inform your own application process. From Ethisphere Magazine’s profiles of past honorees to current data cuts within The Sphere, to a steady schedule of informational webinars, applying for the World’s Most Ethical Companies doesn’t mean you have to do it in the dark. Whether it’s your first application or your eighteenth, we invite you to take advantage of the resources that will help make your application a rich and productive experience.

Future Proofing Your Ethics & Compliance Program

Learn how to avoid corporate mishaps through best-in-class practices. The report features data from the World’s Most Ethical Companies and expertise from The Sphere to inform programs.
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2024 Ethics Premium

The listed 2024 World’s Most Ethical Companies® Honorees outperformed a comparable index of global companies by 12.3 percentage points from January 2019 to January 2024.
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Ethisphere Magazine: Insider's Guide to The World's Most Ethical Companies

In this issue, dive into understanding the benefits of the application process and insights from the 2024 Honorees featuring Southwire, Clarios, J.M. Smucker, Best Buy, Pepsico, SeAH Holdings, and more.
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2024 Application PDF Guide

Download the 2024 World's Most Ethical Companies Application Guide. This guide will provide you an overview and glimpse into the 2025 application process. Explore the benefits to applying, the application process, what was new for 2024, how applications are evaluated, how to get started, and answers to common questions.
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Resources

Applying for the World’s Most Ethical Companies application is part of a much deeper commitment to developing and maintaining a robust culture of ethics, compliance program, governance, and more.  At your disposal is a vast library of helpful resources that showcase best practices in business integrity, what past honorees have considered the most important parts of their quest for excellence, and helpful insights from Ethisphere’s own subject matter experts on what the latest trends and expectations are and where you can go to best inform your own application process. From Ethisphere Magazine’s profiles of past honorees to current data cuts within The Sphere, to a steady schedule of informational webinars, applying for the World’s Most Ethical Companies doesn’t mean you have to do it in the dark. Whether it’s your first application or your eighteenth, we invite you to take advantage of the resources that will help make your application a rich and productive experience.

Future Proofing Your Ethics & Compliance Program

Learn how to avoid corporate mishaps through best-in-class practices. The report features data from the World’s Most Ethical Companies and expertise from The Sphere to inform programs.
Download

Guide to Applying for the 2024 World’s Most Ethical Companies

A 2-part webcast series covering a comprehensive guide of the process, how to approach the application, updates to the 2024 Ethics Quotient® questionnaire, share resources, and more.
Download

Ethisphere Magazine: 2023 World’s Most Ethical Companies Issue

In this issue, learn how honorees Clarios, FedEx, Hasbro, illycaffè, and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts craft their wining strategies to succeed in today’s Ethics Economy.
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Ethics Premium Graphic

Strong Ethics Make for Good 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. 
Download