Now more than ever, people are starting to consider business ethics as an important factor in their job search. This is not surprising, consider that:

  • Tech companies are drawing attention for various ethically questionable data practices
  • Several large corporations have drawn criticism due to sexual harassment issues
  • Other ethical matters that pertain to things such as corruption and conflicts of interest

So, are you part of the workforce? Do you not only take your job seriously but also want to be a part of the solution instead of the problem? Then it’s important to know the companies that will not only treat you fairly but also have a good record in terms of how they treat the world.


Photo Credit: Makhmutova Dina on Unsplash

Fortunately, there are a lot of great companies to work for that hold themselves to a very high ethical standard — across all industries.

Having compiled an annual extensive list of the world’s most ethical companies for over a decade, The Ethisphere Institute offers insights into the best brands to work for and what makes them great.

“Honorees have historically out-performed others financially, demonstrating the connection between good ethical practices and performance that’s valued in the marketplace.

– Etisphere

The list of the most ethical companies is big (135 companies in 2018, to be exact), but we’ve gone ahead and distilled out the most notable companies on the list so you won’t have to.

Each of the companies below have made Etisphere’s list not once, not twice, but throughout all twelve years that the awards have been running.

The 13 most ethical companies to work for:

  • Aflac
  • Deere & Company
  • Ecolab
  • Fluor
  • GE (General Electric)
  • International Paper
  • Kao Corporation
  • Milliken and Company
  • PepsiCo
  • Starbucks
  • Texas Instruments
  • UPS (United Parcel Service)
  • Xerox

So, what actually makes these companies some of the most ethical in the world?

How the most ethical companies are chosen

Before a company can be chosen, a questionnaire consisting of over two-hundred questions must be completed. That questionnaire is then used by Ethisphere to verify the company’s various claims, using everything from company documentation to SEC records.

From there, analysts study each company’s reputation, legal history, and other ethics-related data based on five factors, each being added together to create an
“Ethics Quotient (EQ) Score”:

  1. Company ethics and compliance: Programs and resources for things such as the ability for employees to report misconduct.
  2. Ethical list scoring: Whether ethical guidelines are implemented throughout a company at all levels.
  3. Corporate citizenship and responsibility: This has to do with how the company manages and measures environmental impact and similar topics.
  4. Corporate governance: This has all to do with a company’s leadership quality and structure.
  5. Reputation: This category looks elsewhere to see whether a company has been included on notable lists such as Forbes’ Most Trustworthy Companies, as well as whether company stakeholders are asked to speak at notable expert conferences.