Shared Screenshot 2021 Ethisphere

Ethisphere Taps 2021 World’s Most Ethical Companies

March 8, 2021
AECOM, Schneider Electric, Johnson Controls, Honeywell among 135 firms honored for "unwavering commitment to business integrity." Proof that values-based leadership can be profitable, says awarding body.


New York, NY, February 23, 2021  Ethisphere, a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices, today announced the 135 honorees representing 22 countries and 47 industries that have earned the coveted designation of World’s Most Ethical Companies® in 2021. This is the 15th annual recognition of companies that have demonstrated a commitment to ethical business practices through programs that positively impact employees, communities, and broader stakeholders, and contribute to sustainable and profitable long-term business performance.

In 2021, nine companies are first-time honorees, while six have been recognized 15 times, every year since the awards inception in 2007.

“We continue to be inspired by the actions and initiatives of the World’s Most Ethical Companies honorees. Leadership by this group of companies is a reason that business – above all other institutions – was most trusted during the challenging times of 2020,” stated Ethisphere CEO Timothy Erblich. “Honorees integrate ethics and values with corporate strategy. They speak up, are transparent, take action, and look for innovative ways to make a difference. We congratulate their efforts.”

  • Recipients in the building design, engineering, manufacturing and real estate fields include AECOM, Schneider Electric, Johnson Controls, Honeywell, Lincoln Electric, CBRE, and JLL. 

“Continuing to make the World’s Most Ethical Companies list year after year is a significant achievement that recognizes AECOM’s commitment to ethics and integrity in everything that we do,” said Michael S. Burke, AECOM president and chief executive officer.  “Business results are a critical measure of our success, but how we achieve those results is every bit as important.”

“We’re very proud to be listed once again as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute,” said Olivier Blum, Schneider Electric’s Chief Strategy and Sustainability Officer. “Ethical behavior is non-negotiable: it is the critical foundation on which sustainable business activity and trust have to be built, a pillar of our sustainability commitments.”

“Being recognized as a World’s Most Ethical Company for the 10th year in a row is a direct reflection of the strong culture of integrity that exists at Johnson Controls and the commitment that our employees around the world demonstrate every day to uphold our values,” said Brian Cadwallader, vice president, secretary, and general counsel for Milwaukee-based Johnson Controls

Ethisphere’s 2021 Ethics Index, the collection of publicly-traded companies recognized as recipients of this year’s World’s Most Ethical Companies designation, outperformed a comparable index of large cap companies by 7.1 percentage points over the past five calendar years.

The outperformance, which we refer to as the “Ethics Premium,” has remained consistent since we began tracking the equity performance of honoree companies. We believe this outperformance is the result of the kinds of practices that lead a company to be on our list – practices that demonstrate investment in their people, in their culture, and in their communities. We see in this data that those practices, over time, lead to stronger financial performance.

“As evidenced by this continued outperformance, ethics is good for business,” Erblich added.

Ethisphere will host a Virtual Honoree Gala on April 20, 2021 where Make-A-Wish CEO Richard K. Davis will deliver the keynote address. This will be the 15th year we celebrate the standard bearers of integrity at this Gala.

Methodology & Outcomes

Grounded in 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 organizations across industries and around the globe.

This year, the process was streamlined and the question set expanded to gauge how applicants are adapting and responding to the global health pandemic, environmental, social, and governance factors, safety, equity, and inclusion and social justice.

All companies that participate in the assessment process receive an Analytical Scorecard providing them insights into where their programs stand against the demanding standards of leading companies.


The full list of the 2021 World’s Most Ethical Companies can be found at

Follow the conversation on Twitter: 2021 #WorldsMostEthicalCompanies.


About the Ethisphere Institute

The Ethisphere® Institute is the global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices that fuel corporate character, marketplace trust, and business success. Ethisphere has deep expertise in measuring and defining core ethics standards using data-driven insights that help companies enhance corporate character and measure and improve culture. Ethisphere honors superior achievement through its World’s Most Ethical Companies recognition program and provides a community of industry experts with the Business Ethics Leadership Alliance (BELA). More information about Ethisphere can be found at

Media Contact

Clea Nabozny, [email protected]