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SPRING // 2021


Following a year of upheaval throughout the world, as companies everywhere responded to the twin crises of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing impact of systemic racism’s legacy, the World’s Most Ethical Companies® recognition feels more timely than ever. In a year that had people everywhere questioning what capitalism should look like, surveys consistently showed that the public believed that the private sector over all stepped up to the plate, protecting employees while continuing to keep the world fed, moving, informed, and more. This year’s honorees, and their commitments to a broad range of stakeholders, were a big part of that success.

First, see who made the list in 2021, then scroll down to download this full publication or find links to individual profiles, contributions from CEOs, or this year’s first look at the data insights from the World’s Most Ethical Companies.

Download a PDF of the full issue


A stock chart. In black, a line representing the Fortune 500 goes up and to the right. Just above it, a green line representing the World's Most Ethical Companies goes up by 7.1% more over the last five years.Figure 1 – How often does the individual with responsibility for the ethics and compliance program conduct scheduled update presentations to the committee of the Board that oversees the program?

The World’s Most Ethical Companies

This year, 135 organizations are recognized as World’s Most Ethical Companies, spanning 47 unique industries across 22 countries. These organizations earned the distinction after a comprehensive application and review process. To see all the companies on the list, go to the World’s Most Ethical Companies website.

Then, read our profiles of executives from a few of this year’s winners, including:

  • Infosys Limited – Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Lead Independent Director and Inderpreet Sawhney, Group General Counsel
  • Workday – Rich Sauer, Chief Legal Officer and Head of Corporate Affairs
  • Arm – Carolyn Herzog, EVP, General Counsel & Chief Compliance Officer
  • PepsiCo – David Flavell, EVP, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary
  • IBM – Obed Louissaint, SVP, Talent and Culture

We also dive into the emerging best practices the data reveals among the World’s Most Ethical Companies this year, including increasing access to the board for compliance, and how COVID-19 and remote work have changed training and ethics communications.

Straight from the Top: Honoree CEOs Speak

Jo Ann Jenkins, CEO of AARP, looks to camera. She is wearing a red blouse with a great broach.

Jo Ann Jenkins, CEO, AARP

Antonio Neri, President and CEO of HPE, looks to camera wearing a blue dress shirt and glasses.

Antonio Neri, President and CEO, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Aiman Ezzat, Chief Executive Officer, Capgemini Group

Aiman Ezzat, Chief Executive Officer, Capgemini Group

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