The World’s Most Ethical Companies (WME) is an unranked list published annually by the Ethisphere Institute in New York.
This list is derived from both self-nominated companies and third-party nominees. Nominees must complete a questionnaire designed to yield information about ethics, innovation, corporate governance and corporate culture. Nominees are further evaluated on criteria including sustainability and transparency of business practices, details of any litigation, regulatory infractions, investments, business models, products and input from employees and customers.
Since the WME list’s inception in 2007, the number of nominees has increased every year. Benefits to honorees include improved employee recruitment and retention, enhancements to marketing campaigns and better public relations (PR), especially in new markets.
According to the institute, the purpose of the WME list is to promote ethical business practices and “shape future industry standards by introducing best practices today.”