The World’s Most Ethical Companies® program honors companies that excel in three areas – promoting ethical business standards and practices internally, enabling managers and employees to make good choices, and shaping future industry standards by introducing tomorrow’s best practices today. Honorees have historically out-performed others financially, demonstrating the connection between good ethical practices and performance that’s valued in the marketplace.
Ethisphere’s Ethics Quotient® is a proprietary rating system that collects and objectively scores self-reported data in five weighted categories. Questions included in the Ethics Quotient are periodically reviewed and updated based on changing regulations, expectations and best practices. Supporting documentation is required for consideration as a World’s Most Ethical Company.
“As Aflac’s CEO for more than 25 years, I’ve learned that no matter what business you are in, the laws of supply and demand will always apply. As data continues to show growth in the demand for ethics, the fortunes of companies that supply accountability, transparency and values in the next decade are likely to increase. Companies will either adapt to societal demands or find themselves wishing they had.”
Dan Amos, CEO, Aflac
“Public expectations for corporate social responsibility and transparency continue to grow. To thrive, businesses increasingly need public, customer and employee trust. In this environment, leaders will succeed only if ethical behavior is a foundation of their organization’s culture.”
Tom Barrett, President, Alyeska Pipeline Service Company
“At Avanade, we act with integrity and respect, and behaving ethically is a cornerstone of how we realize results for our clients and their customers in today’s digital world. As more organizations embrace and reap the benefits of smart technologies, one of the biggest challenges leadership will face is how to manage the ethical, moral and human dilemmas that these new sources of data create. The real leaders of tomorrow will be those who know how to harness digital innovation to deliver business value in an ethical and trustworthy way.”
Adam Warby, CEO, Avanade, Inc.
“I believe expectations for ethical behaviors and practices will continue to increase simply due to the growing interest in, and importance placed on, these areas by all key stakeholders: customers, suppliers, partners, employees and shareholders.”
Rick Hamada, CEO, Avnet, Inc.
"In an increasingly connected global business community, multi-national enterprises will lead by example requiring the higher discipline of good governance as a prerequisite. Those business leaders in emerging and frontier economies who understand the difference between achieving and deterring prosperity hinges on systemic, broad-based adoption of ethical behavior will drive change. It will be the price of admission.“
Richard J. Bolte, Chairman & CEO, BDP International, Inc.
“In the next decade, the businesses that are strongest in the market also are likely to be the most ethical. As we look toward the future, customers expect to see transparent and ethical practices from businesses, and will pay more in dollars and loyalty to support ones that reflect their values. As we focus on transforming health care in North Carolina, we recognize that our commitment to doing the right thing has been — and will continue to be — the foundation of our great success.”
Brad Wilson, CEO, BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina
“The healthcare industry is complex and highly regulated to assure protection to those served. But, above all, it is high ethical standards that offer the best protection and service to subscribers of healthcare plans. It is these standards, along with sound corporate governance – when present in a culture that values these standards – that assure the day to day conduct of the business is as ethical as possible.”
Chet E. Burrell, President and CEO, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield
“We believe ethics and compliance will become a more demanding issue because of two main factors. One, the business environment will become more complex and competitive ... shortcuts will become more tempting … and; our culture demands continuous improvement in all areas including ethics. We deal with humans, not machines and we strive for perfection in an imperfect world.”
José Raúl González , CEO, Cementos Progreso
“Research across all industries makes it clear that consumers place increasing importance on the conduct of the companies they buy their products from. They see the brands they buy as reflections of themselves and the value they place on integrity and ethical conduct. For Colgate, this means continuing to stress to our teams everywhere that their individual conduct will be seen as representing our company, so they must always act in accordance with our ethical standards, in everything they do.”
Ian Cook, Chairman, President and CEO, Colgate-Palmolive Company
“Today, successful organizations keep ethics at the forefront and alive for employees. Over the next ten years, I foresee an even greater focus on corporate ethics among companies throughout all industries. As we move forward, collaboration will become even more critical to securing new business, and in order for collaboration to truly work, trust must be part of the equation.”
Edward J. Sheehan, Jr., President & CEO, Concurrent Technologies Corporation
“Companies and organizations have to bet on forming integral human beings with humanized process that live their own codes of ethics, develop their own strategic planning and their plans thinking on the person, the contribution to society and the environment, since ‘A company is what its people are and the people will be what their leaders are’.”
César Augusto Hernández Correa, CEO, Empresa de Desarrollo Urbano
“For 10 years running, we have been proud to be one of Ethisphere’s World’s Most Ethical Companies. A reputation for being honest, fair, trustworthy and law-abiding strengthens our relationships with customers, and distinguishes GE in the marketplace. Our integrity helps us navigate a business landscape that grows more complex and unpredictable each day.”
Jeffrey R. Immelt, Chairman and CEO, GE
“Maintaining a strong ethical culture in an increasingly demanding business environment requires strong leadership. The more complex the business, the more necessity for ethical standards. I believe that what works today to uniquely sustain an effective and ethical culture in any company will help that company thrive for many years to come.”
James H. Roberts, President and CEO, Granite Construction Incorporated
“Customers’ expectations are high and rising when it comes to corporate ethical behavior and reputation. These expectations are factored into daily purchasing decisions and will come at a much higher cost for businesses if sustainable practices and global challenges such as climate change are not already a major focus.”
Andrea Illy, Chairman & CEO, illycaffè SpA
“The pace of innovation is quicker than ever in an increasingly competitive world, and ethical business practices will be imperative to win fair and square. We must continually strive to uphold the highest ethical standards and maintain a cultural of compliance while innovating to meet customers' evolving needs.”
Ilene Gordon, Chairman, President and CEO, Ingredion Incorporated
“Now and in the future, it is becoming more important for companies to be driven by high ethical principles. Fueled by generational changes and a heightened desire for meaningful engagement, the success of any business will be dependent on employees and customers who are proud and confident in working with a company that does the right things, in the right ways, for the right reasons.”
Mark S. Sutton, Chairman & CEO, International Paper Company
“In an increasingly uncertain world, customers, investors and employees want the companies they associate with to control everything they can in order to maximize their competitive positions and profitability. Companies that demonstrate their integrity to the marketplace will attract stakeholders who want one less thing to worry about. It’s that simple, and compelling.”
Colin Dyer, President and CEO, Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated
“Over the last 10 years, we have seen growing expectation for companies to behave ethically. The next 10 years will see Ethics becoming no longer a ‘nice to have’ but a fundamental prerequisite to any organization’s license to operate. For companies who are leaders in this area, it will become a competitive advantage."
Jean-Paul Agon, Chairman and CEO, L'ORÉAL
“At ManpowerGroup, an ethical approach to business has been part of our DNA for almost 70 years. Today and in the future, increasing transparency of business practices will mean employees, customers, suppliers and shareholders alike want to know that meaningful work is being done ethically. That’s why our 27,000 colleagues across 80 countries take pride in doing well by doing good every day and why we continue to have the most trusted brand in our industry.”
Jonas Prising, Chairman and CEO, ManpowerGroup
“We are diversifying geographically and by adding new brands. At the same time, we strive to reinforce our company’s core values with every new hotel and every new hire.”
Arne Sorenson, CEO and President, Marriott International, Inc.
“Technology will continue to increase demand for transparency. This openness is a growing expectation for companies with regard to their products, customers, associates, and communities. We see this as an opportunity for the World’s Most Ethical Companies to continue to distinguish themselves from their competitors.”
Joe Salley, President and CEO, Milliken & Company
“Earning and keeping the trust of our customers and other stakeholders is of the utmost importance. With so many divisive issues in play, the ability to work together toward solutions requires a foundation of trust. It is more important than ever to be recognized as having the right systems and culture in place to retain the trust of those we serve.”
Joe Hamrock, CEO, NiSource, Inc.
“A strong commitment to ethics, integrity and transparency in every aspect of business is vital not only for success but for survival. World’s Most Ethical Company honorees set the bar to help achieve and measure ethics goals.”
Bob Jones, President & CEO, Old National Bancorp.
“Corporate compliance and ethics programs are of unprecedented importance. Companies can achieve higher value for investors, customers, employees and stakeholders with superior ethics and fair processes. New factors continually arise and have influence on organizations. Financial returns are being seen for employers who focus on ethics as the foundation of their corporate culture.”
Keith Jackson, President and CEO, ON Semiconductor
“Ethics, social responsibility, integrity, and simply doing the right thing aren’t best practices to aspire to, they’re simply expected as basic requirements for doing business with today’s consumers. Receiving this recognition for five years running is an honor and a reflection of Petco’s continued commitment to the highest ethical practices in everything we do.”
Jim Myers, CEO, Petco
“Customers are gaining access to more choices and more information than ever before. As they evaluate who they can trust, a company's record of ethical behavior may very well be the deciding factor.”
John Strangfeld, Chairman and CEO, Prudential Financial, Inc.
“Integrity is one of Quintiles’ core values, because at the heart of our work is doing what’s right – for patients, customers and employees. Maintaining ethical standards is essential to earning and retaining the trust of our customers. As the science and technology related to drug development become increasingly complex with the evolution of personalized medicine and genomics, it will be even more critical for all our stakeholders to trust us and the work we do so we can continue to deliver the advances that improve human health.”
Tom Pike, CEO, Quintiles
“Our global sales and supply chain will become more complex and heavily regulated over the next ten years, but our core foundation of integrity must remain the same. Ethical business practices will be key to our success as more value will be derived from collaboration, with relationships built on trust and shared values.”
Keith Nosbusch, CEO, Rockwell Automation, Inc.
“Stakeholders are increasingly pressing companies to go beyond the letter of the law and demonstrate the highest ethical standards in line with their corporate values. By disclosing information that proves our businesses walk the talk, we will create a competitive advantage while benefiting the planet and society.”
Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Chairman & CEO, Schneider Electric
“As business leaders, we're faced with a challenge around protecting our most valuable asset: information. In our increasingly connected world, we are generating, storing, and managing more data than ever before, and being attacked is inevitable. Companies that are thinking ethically and acting with integrity need to secure their data - cybersecurity, privacy, and sound data management practices are part of our ethical responsibility.”
Michael A. Brown, President and CEO, Symantec Corporation
“At TE Connectivity we prioritize being a good corporate citizen. Our values -- integrity, accountability, teamwork and innovation -- define how we lead and guide our daily decisions and relationships with partners and customers. As businesses expand, there are increased pressures on performance and competitiveness that can test corporate ethics. It's all the more critical for leaders to set and live up to high ethical standards.”
Tom Lynch, CEO, TE Connectivity
“Through various studies, including one conducted by Ethisphere, we see that companies and organizations with the right ethical culture are winning in the marketplace. So, while I cannot predict the future, it does stand to reason that to remain viable and competitive for the next 10 years and beyond, companies will need an engaged employee population focused on acting with integrity and doing the right thing, even when no one is looking.”
Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., President and CEO, TIAA
“While expectations for companies will likely become even more complex in the next decade due to fast-changing technology and globalization, ethics will continue to be foundational requirement for doing business. Being a responsible corporate citizen is not an option, it’s an absolute requirement.”
Richard K. Templeton, Chairman, President and CEO, Texas Instruments
“The demand to maintain ethical business standards will only increase as time goes on. With evolving technologies and economic needs, we need to constantly ensure that strong business ethics are the foundation of organizations, especially in a changing, and often global, business landscape.”
Brad Hewitt, CEO, Thrivent Financial
“Being an ethical company means doing the right thing for all stakeholders including employees, customers, shareholders and communities. It also means being your customer’s most trusted choice. Over the next 10 years, we believe operating an ethically strong company will require even more investment, education and commitment by employees and leadership. It will be a critical element of operating a healthy, successful organization.”
Richard Davis, Chairman and CEO, U.S. Bancorp
“In recent years, all stakeholder groups – customers, employees, investors, legislators, etc. – have increasingly made decisions that are critical to businesses based on how they view those businesses from an ethical perspective. We expect that trend and momentum to continue, to extend from a corporate governance and corporate responsibility standpoint – and to accelerate in the years ahead.”
Rodney O. Martin, Chairman and CEO, Voya Financial, Inc.