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Application Process – General Questions

The World’s Most Ethical Companies® evaluation is an annual exercise. Each year’s evaluation process considers organization programs information at the time it is submitted by the applicant and considers reputational information available up to December 31st of the year being reviewed. For example, the 2025 evaluation considers reputational information available up to December 31, 2024.


The 2025 application process opens at the end of July 2024 and will remain open for 90 days. All materials will be due at the end of the 90-day application period. Official dates coming soon.

We don’t publicly disclose the total number of applicants each year. We established this policy so that organizations have the freedom to apply and be measured against others in total confidence and so that those who are honored recognize that their programs are being measured both competitively and on their own merits.


Past honorees are given no inherent advantage over non-honorees or organizations applying for the first time. Typically, organizations that have participated in the evaluation process in previous years (both honorees and non-honorees) are more familiar with the expectations and therefore better prepared when it comes to completing the questionnaire and submitting supporting documentation.
Applicants trust us to keep all analysis and results of each organization confidential. We take that responsibility seriously.

We do not disclose the names of organizations who are not honored, and no individual response is made public. Scores will only be used to calculate EQ scores and/or provide a report or analysis to an organization. We also use EQ scores and responses in an aggregated or anonymized fashion for benchmarking and research purposes.

Additionally, honorees may not publicly share or reference their organization’s scores or performance compared to the World’s Most Ethical Companies’ averages. Our purpose is to celebrate all of the organizations equally; accordingly, we very intentionally do not rank the organizations that make the list each year. Sharing information or referring to the scores necessarily leads to a comparison among the honoree organizations. Also, the selection process compares organizations to their peers. Without context, publicizing how an organization fares against the average scores misrepresents our process and could cause confusion.

A real benefit to participating in the Ethics Quotient (EQ) process is that all participants, whether or not they’re honored, receives access to a Digital Analytical Scorecard experience. It provides an overview of how the applicant scored against the World’s Most Ethical Companies honorees in key categories and offers access to 15 key Ethics Quotient® data points, along with associated resources, in an interactive format powered by The Sphere—Ethisphere’s Ethics and Compliance benchmarking platform.

This is an important and valued outcome of the process, since many organizations are looking to move forward both in compliance activities and ethical corporate behavior. This independent review allows an organization to compare itself not just to any group of organizations that want to complete a survey, but to those who excel and are named as the World’s Most Ethical Companies

Companies that submit the Ethics Quotient (EQ) survey and supporting documentation during the application period, are considered for inclusion in the World’s Most Ethical Companies recognition program for 2025. However, organizations that would like to participate in the EQ—with the opportunity to be benchmarked against honored organizations—may do so throughout the year, at any time through The Sphere. Learn more at