The 128 most ethical companies for 2019 were announced this week from the Ethisphere Institute. The timing is fortuitous with the upcoming AI for Good, which I founded, global artificial intelligence dialogue including accountability, responsibility, transparency, fairness, equity and ethics.
Increasingly contributing positively to society and driving positive change are a growing discourse around the world and hitting all sectors and disruptive technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI).
As a practical matter, there are guidelines immediately usable such as the ACM Code of Ethics updated in 2018 and the Seven Principles to Foster Algorithmic Transparency and Accountability.
With more than $20 Trillion USD wealth transfer from baby boomers to millennials, and their focus on the environment and social impact, this trend will accelerate. Business is aware and taking the lead in this movement of advancing the human condition in a responsible and ethical manner. Values-based leadership, diversity, inclusion, investment and long-term commitment are the multi-stakeholder commitments going forward.
“Today employees, consumers and stakeholders value companies that show both a commitment to business integrity and also have the organizational humility to never stop seeking improvement. The World’s Most Ethical Companies honorees understand that this approach has a profound impact on communities and is the foundation for broader success and profitability,” said Ethisphere CEO, Timothy Erblich. “We congratulate all honorees for making our world a better place by blending profit and purpose in a meaningful way.”
The awardees spanned 21 countries and 50 industries. Referred to as the Ethics Premium, stock prices of publicly traded honorees indicate that the World’s Most Ethical Companies outperform the large-cap sector over five years by 14.4 percent and over three years by 10.5 percent.
Notable are first-time country awardees such as DTGO from Thailand who believe in shaping the world to be a better place and are the most innovative horizontally and vertically integrated corporation in their sector. Their work aligns very closely with the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Scoring, as reported in 2018, which is shared with the companies, is generated in five categories:
35 percent, ethics and compliance program
20 percent, corporate citizenship and responsibility
20 percent, culture of ethics
15 percent, governance
10 percent, leadership, innovation and reputation
Demonstrating a strong past tradition, as an example Microsoft President Brad Smith indicated in 2018, “Microsoft is honored to be named once again to the World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere because it reflects our passion to make a lasting impact on the world around us.”
For 2019, “Our T-Mobile team has created and cultivated an Un-carrier culture that is all about driving change, taking a stand for what’s right and setting a new bar for others to follow,” explained T-Mobile CEO, John Legere. “I’m so proud that their commitment to doing what’s right has earned us a spot on the World’s Most Ethical Companies list for the 11th straight year!”
Also, from 2019, “Responsibility has been a hallmark of IBM’s culture for 107 years – from our labs to our boardroom – and we’re honored to be recognized as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies,” said IBM Chairman, President and CEO, Ginni Rometty. “We know our clients and the consumers they serve expect more than groundbreaking innovation and expertise. They want to work with a partner they trust, and one that works to make the world better, safer and smarter. We are deeply committed to these values.”
Stephen Ibaraki, columnist and advisor, is a social entrepreneur and futurist, and chairs REDDS Capital. With more than 100 top executive roles, global lifetime achievement and innovation awards and recognitions, a few of executive chairman, investor, venture capitalist, and serial entrepreneur, Stephen Ibaraki's positions include: Practitioner Board Association for Computing Machinery past chair; founding chair Global Industry Council and vice-chair board IP3 International Federation for Information Processing; top 5 blogger IDG-IT World (Canada); founding managing general partner REDDS Capital (Venture Investment Partners) and founding chairman investment committee REDDS VC Fund; founder technology advisory board, Yintech Investment Holdings Ltd. (NASDAQ); founding member Beyond Initiative (VW/Audi AI Think Tank); founding chairman outreach UN ITU "ICT Discovery" Journal; founder and chairman outreach UN ITU AI for Good Global Summit with XPRIZE Foundation, 20 UN Agency partners, 47 media; keynote at the International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE Austin USA); keynote UNIDO General Conference Industry 4.0 (Vienna); organizer and host speaker Wuzhen Summit World Internet Conference AI Forum (WIC: 1500 CEOs/leaders); speaker UN GA Second Committee & ECOSOC Joint Session (New York, Future of Everything); founding chairman Technology Advisory Council Financial Services Roundtable (FSR) FinTech Ideas Festival (200 CEOs/Execs, FSR: $92.7 trillion managed assets, $1.2 trillion annual revenue); founding chair advisory board and keynote Digital Africa on Industry/Nation 4.0 (2016, 2017); invited advisor on Nation 4.0 and board member within IEEE; 14 Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Global Awards (Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, "We recognize and value your exceptional contributions and commitment to technical communities worldwide. By sharing your real world expertise and technical skills, you demonstrate outstanding technical community leadership. Thank you.") and 3 global gold awards; 3 founding Fellow awards; ... There is much more information as nominated founding fellow, past board chair and president government-chartered Canadian Information Processing Society http://www.cips.ca/stephen-ibaraki.