Four automotive firms make it to 2020 World’s Most Ethical Companies list

by Nilesh Wadhwa 28 Feb 2020

The Ethisphere Institute, a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices that fuel corporate character, marketplace trust, and business success has announced the 2020 World's Most Ethical Companies List, which includes 132 honourees representing 51 countries and 21 industries.

Ethisphere says the list marks the 14th annual recognition of those who prioritise ethical behaviour as a means to improve the world, while enhancing business performance. In 2020, 14 companies appear on the prestigious list for the first time, while seven have been named every year since 2007.

This year, the global list sees four automotive companies — Aptiv from United Kingdom; Cooper Standard from USA; Cummins Inc from USA and General Motors from USA — and from India only Tata Steel and Wipro have made it to the coveted list, showcasing the commitment needed to make it to the rankings.

Timothy Erblich, CEO, Ethisphere said, “This is truly a time to celebrate incredible achievements. When we initiated the World’s Most Ethical Companies recognition in 2007, the concept of companies proactively aligning profits and purpose seemed unlikely. However, leading CEOs and organisations continue to prove our long-held hypothesis that conducting ethical business is the key to maximising profits. In addition to congratulating all 2020 honourees, we commend their commitment to continuous improvement and raising the collective bar for all companies.”

Julie Sweet, CEO, Accenture said: “Being a company with the highest integrity and commitment to our core values has always been at the heart of who we are as a company and is fundamental to building trust with all of our stakeholders—including our people, our clients and our communities. Our fundamental belief is that businesses not only have an opportunity, but an obligation, to be a force for good in the world. This commitment is more important than ever. We are honoured to be recognised again as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies.”

Mary Barra, CEO, General Motors said: “It’s easier to live your values when things are going well, but it’s more difficult when the going gets tough. At General Motors, we are determined to lead the automotive industry in creating a world with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion, and to doing it with integrity. This recognition as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies is a testament to the men and women of General Motors who are committed to doing the right thing, even when it’s hard.”

Ethisphere says its research supports the conclusion that ethics and financial performance go hand-in-hand. The company's annual practice of tracking how the stock prices of publicly traded honourees compare to the Large Cap Index found that listed 2020 World’s Most Ethical Companies outperformed the large cap sector over five years by 13.5 percent. This 'Ethics Premium' forms the basis upon which companies can correlate responsible behaviour with shareholder value.

The findings are based on Ethisphere’s proprietary Ethics Quotient, the World’s Most Ethical Companies assessment process includes more than 200 data points on culture, environmental and social practices, ethics and compliance activities, governance, diversity and initiatives to support a strong value chain. The process serves as an operating framework to capture and codify the leading practices of organisations across industries and around the globe.