The Ethisphere Institute has announced its 2018 list of the World's Most Ethical Companies.
Fourteen companies from the ICT sector made the list, which recognises companies that aims to influence and drive positive change in the business community. In total, 135 companies spanning 23 countries and 57 industries made the list.
From the technology sector, companies included Adobe, CA Technologies, Canon, Dell, Intel, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Nokia, Salesforce, Symantec, Teradata, Texas Instruments, Wipro and Xerox.
The Ethisphere Institute is focused on defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices. The list of most ethical companies is assessed based on the Ethics Quotient framework, which offers a quantitative way to assess a company's performance in aspects of corporate governance, risk, sustainability, compliance and ethics.
Scores are generated in five key categories: ethics and compliance program (35%), corporate citizenship and responsibility (20%), culture of ethics (20%), governance (15%), and leadership, innovation and reputation (10%).
The Institute said that is has seen an increase in values-based leadership as a part of business strategy, and companies are increasingly discussing their purpose in broad, community-focused terms. Diversity and inclusion, investment and long-term commitment, and constructive use of a company's voice are now the hallmarks of what stakeholders are expecting and investors are rewarding. Companies are also showing record levels of community support and innovation in engaging and inspiring employees, customers and stakeholders.
"Over the last 12 years, we have repeatedly seen that those companies who focus on transparency and authenticity are rewarded with the trust of their employees, their customers and their investors. While negative headlines might grab attention, the companies who support the rule of law and operate with decency and fair play around the globe will always succeed in the long term," explained Ethisphere CEO, Timothy Erblich. "Congratulations to all of the 2018 honourees."
Ethisphere's notion that financial value and ethics are inexorably tied together has been borne out through long-term tracking of how the stock prices of publicly traded honourees compare to the US Large Cap Index. The research found that listed World's Most Ethical Companies outperformed the large cap sector over five years by 10.72% and over three years by 4.88%. Ethisphere refers to this as the Ethics Premium.