NEW YORK, March 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Ethisphere Institute, an independent center of research promoting best practices in corporate ethics and compliance, announced today the selection of the 2014 World's Most Ethical Companies®. The World's Most Ethical Company designation recognizes companies that truly go beyond making statements about doing business ethically and translate those words into action. World's Most Ethical Company honorees not only promote ethical business standards and practices internally, they embed the theory of "conscious capitalism" into everything they do, every employee they hire, and every partner they bring into their network to ensure they deliver long-term value to key stakeholders including customers, suppliers, regulators, and investors. By leading their industries in compliance, corporate governance and social responsibility, the World's Most Ethical Companies effectively align ethical business practices with performance and shape future industry ethical business standards.
"In today's complex global economy, it can be increasingly challenging for companies to meet performance expectations, while addressing the varying regulatory, compliance and sustainability needs across geographies and cultures," said Tim Erblich, CEO of the Ethisphere Institute. "Global economic and social challenges from anti-corruption to security and privacy are accelerating the need for companies and organizations to embrace ethics and governance as critical business imperatives. Failure to establish the highest ethical business standards and practices throughout an organization can result in unacceptable consequences that include both human impacts and operational risks. These organizations have taken this challenge head on and recognize that leading ethical business practices present an unprecedented opportunity to deliver significant tangible and intangible organizational benefits. This year's honorees from all countries and industries understand that outstanding compliance programs, investment in a corporate culture of integrity, and sound business ethics have key roles in attracting and retaining talent, expanding business globally and driving financial performance. Together, we are committed to establishing best practices across industries and developing effective benchmarking tools to influence and assist other organizations in meeting this shared challenge."
This year's 144 honorees represent 41 industries and include 21 first-time honorees. In this eighth year of recognizing companies, Ethisphere is honoring the largest group of organizations based outside the U.S. – 38 organizations from 21 countries and 5 continents.
"Ethisphere's tenet that 'ethics drives performance' resonates with us and aligns with Marriott's approach to doing business continually with integrity," said Arne Sorenson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Marriott International, Inc.
"We're honored to be named one of Ethisphere's 2014 World's Most Ethical Companies, as it underscores GE's unwavering commitment to our customers, business partners and employees to perform with integrity and lead by example every day," said Brackett Denniston, Senior Vice President and General Counsel for GE.
"Gap Inc. is proud to receive this honor for the eighth consecutive year. It is a testament to the hard work of our incredible employees, and the ethical principles that drive our interactions and are integral to our future growth and success," said Wilma Wallace, Deputy General Counsel and VP, Gap Inc.
"We are thrilled to be recognized with this honor. Being selected as a 2014 World's Most Ethical Company underscores our commitment to maintaining the highest level of standards which are essential to building and maintaining trust with our stakeholders," said Rodney O. Martin, Jr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, ING U.S. "These standards are part of our policies and our values, and most importantly, we practice them in the way we conduct our business every day. I am proud of our employees and the company."
The World's Most Ethical Company assessment is based upon the Ethisphere Institute's Ethics Quotient™ framework. The Ethics Quotient framework has been developed over years of effort to provide a means to assess an organization's performance in an objective, consistent and standardized way. Rather than measuring all aspects of corporate governance, risk, sustainability, compliance and ethics, Ethisphere collects a comprehensive sampling of definitive date in core competencies. The Ethics Quotient framework and methodology was determined, vetted and refined by the expert advice and insights gleaned from Ethisphere's network of thought leaders and from the World's Most Ethical Company Methodology Advisory Panel. Scores are generated in five key categories: ethics and compliance program (25%), reputation, leadership and innovation (20%), governance (10%), corporate citizenship and responsibility (25%), and culture of ethics (20%).
The full list of the 2014 World's Most Ethical Companies can be found at http://ethisphere.com/worlds-most-ethical/wme-honorees.
The Ethisphere® Institute
The Ethisphere® Institute is an independent center of research, best practices and thought leadership that promotes best practices in corporate ethics and compliance and enables organizations to improve governance, mitigate risk and enhance relationships with employees, business partners, investors and the broad regulatory community. Ethisphere evaluates and benchmarks compliance and governance programs, honors superior achievement through its World's Most Ethical Company® recognition program and publishes Ethisphere Magazine. Ethisphere is also the leading provider of independent verification of corporate ethics and compliance programs that include: Ethics Inside® Certification, Compliance Leader Verification™ and Anti-Corruption Program Verification™.
SOURCE Ethisphere Institute