Apple, Microsoft top list of most ethical tech companies


Ethisphere has released its annual edition of the most ethical companies from a variety of industries.

Ethics in Technology
Credit: Adobe

The 2022 edition of most ethical companies list saw some heavy hitters in the tech industry named as honorees as selected by the Ethisphere Institute. Apple, Microsoft, Dell Technologies, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, HP Inc., LinkedIn and Western Digital were among the companies named most ethical in the tech field by the advisory panel. This year’s edition saw Apple named as one of the most ethical tech companies in its field for the first time ever, while Dell was honored for the 10th time since the award was created in 2006.

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Apple’s entry is in contrast to the revelation in late 2020 that its supplier, Suyin Electronics, used child labor in the manufacturing of electronics. Apple allegedly took more than three years to discontinue its relationship with Suyin, despite knowing the Chinese-based company employed children as young as 14.

In the telecommunications field, only AT&T was selected for the third time to the list. Within the software industry, Salesforce and Terada were named one of the most ethical companies for the 13th time in 16 years, and Workday was named an honoree, joining for the third time. The category of semiconductors saw ARM, Intel Corporation, Micron Technology and onsemi as being tabbed for the accolade.

“It is an honor for Micron to be named as one of Ethisphere Institute’s Most Ethical Companies,” said Micron president and CEO Sanjay Mehrotra via press release. “This recognition reflects the dedication of our more than 44,000 team members in 17 countries to hold ourselves to the highest standards of ethics and environmental and social responsibility. Micron believes that a culture of inclusion, unyielding integrity and accountability is the foundation for our continued success, and we will continue to pursue these ideals with passion.”

How the most ethical companies are selected

According to Ethisphere’s website, the 12-person advisory committee looks at a number of factors when selecting an organization for the award, via 200 data points across five categories:

  • Ethics and compliance program, which accounts for 35% of an organization’s overall score
  • Culture of ethics, which accounts for 20% of the overall score
  • Environmental and societal impact, which accounts for 20% of the overall score
  • Governance, which accounts for 15% of the overall score
  • Leadership and reputation, which accounts for 10% of the overall score

Using the guidelines, the institute then evaluates these criteria via answers to its Ethics Quotient (EQ) questionnaire along with submitted supplemental documentation. When necessary, independent research and follow up with a candidate are also part of the evaluation process.

According to Ethisphere’s website, “A company’s final Ethics Quotient score is evaluated relative to those of its peers within the context of its structure, size and operating environment. Those companies demonstrating the strongest application across our methodology receive the designation of being one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies.”

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This year, 136 companies across 45 industries were selected for the honors, including 14 first-time honorees such as Apple. Ethisphere’s website states that while any company can apply to be one of the most ethical companies, the awards are typically reserved for larger organizations that boast over $250 million in revenue.

Some of the benefits for organizations named to the list as outlined by Ethisphere were enjoying better long-term business performance, the ability to self-assess and identify gaps in company processes, and being able to compare internal ethics processes with past honorees.

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