World’s Most Ethical Companies 2010 Edition

2010 World’s Most Ethical Companies

Ethisphere Institute just announced its list of the World’s Most Ethical Companies for 2010.

Of the 100 companies on their list, 26 are new to the list. The sole winner for the real estate industry is Jones Lang LaSalle. For the financial services industry there were three companies: American Express, The Hartford and The Principal Financial Group.

A tidbit that caught my eye was the comparative performance of the companies. Ethisphere claims that the “2010 World’s Most Ethical Companies have outperformed the S&P 500 by delivering a 53 percent return to shareholders since 2005—compared to the S&P’s four percent shareholder loss over the same period.”

It’s interesting to see that these companies consistently outperformed the broader in good times and bad. I’m tempted to go back through all of the past winners to see how it would have worked out by investing in these companies over the years. (If I could just find the time to do so.)

Ethisphere’s looks at 7 categories under their “Ethics Quotient”:

  1. Corporate citizenship and responsibility (20%)
  2. Corporate governance (10%)
  3. Innovation that contributes to public well being (15%)
  4. Industry leadership (5%)
  5. Executive leadership and tone from the top (15%)
  6. Integrity track record and reputation (20%)
  7. Internal systems and ethics/compliance program (15%)