The World’s Most Ethical Companies – Overview
We evaluate an organization’s (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, submitted supplemental documentation, and where necessary, independent research and follow up with a candidate. Evaluation 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). If the review team has a concern after this independent analysis, we will reach out to the applicant to discuss.
Past participants consider completing the World’s Most Ethical Companies process to be extremely valuable, 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.
Does an organization’s business relationship with Ethisphere affect its selection as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies?
Ethisphere’s mission is to define and advance the standards of ethical business practices. We do this through data-driven assessments, benchmarking, and guidance; as well as recognizing excellence through Ethisphere Magazine and the annual World’s Most Ethical Companies designation.
Ethisphere receives revenue from our membership group, a broad range of solutions and advisory services, licenses, conferences, and sponsorships. No company that is honored with the World’s Most Ethical Companies designation is responsible for more than 1.02 % of Ethisphere’s revenue. And no honoree may place advertising in the issue of Ethisphere Magazine that announces and highlights new honorees.
Ethisphere recently launched The Sphere, which enables companies to benchmark against the practices of the World’s Most Ethical Companies. Is this a requirement for applying or included in the process?
Since launching the World’s Most Ethical Companies recognition, we have had thousands of requests for access to data highlighting the practices of top companies. We now offer that opportunity through The Sphere. Organizations find it helpful for benchmarking programs to identify strengths and areas of opportunity. Others also use it to pull contextual data for presenting to senior leadership and the board. It is not a requirement for applying for World’s Most Ethical Companies recognition, but can prove helpful for organizations looking to get a sense as to whether they are ready to apply.